Blackberry & Gorgonzola Salad with Mixed Berry Vinaigrette

by Chrissy

Blackberry Gorgonzola Salad w Mixed Berry Vinaigrette_LYK6

It’s FRIDAY! We made it! You deserve a cookie. I know I do. This week has been straight up grueling. I am fairly positive I have 4 jobs right now. It’s only a season of transition so I’m trekking, but I’m excited for the day when I can streamline all of it into one.

You could probably tell by the pics, but a lot of berries are involved in the making of this fresh and healthy salad. I guess another name for this salad could be antioxidant salad.

Blackberry Gorgonzola Salad w Mixed Berry Vinaigrette_LYK5

I have to admit that I got the inspiration from a commonly ordered menu item from local soup & salad place, that’s by my office. It was my favorite salad out of the bunch, but I always questioned their “berry vinaigrette”. It seemed like all oil and preservatives to me. Bleh. Not very berry-licious.

So I blended up this thicker vinaigrette — maybe it should be called a “dressing” – and it easily topped their version.

Blackberry Gorgonzola Salad w Mixed Berry Vinaigrette_LYK3

At first it almost looks like it could pass for a smoothie, but the savory additions of mustard and white wine vinegar really help develop blended berries into a beautiful salad dressing.

Blackberry Gorgonzola Salad w Mixed Berry Vinaigrette_LYK7

Besides the lucious berries throughout this salad, the creamy gorgonzola cheese and crunchy candied pecans tie it all together. Toasted pecans smell like heaven already, but then add a little pad of butter and a handful of brown sugar and you’ve got yourself a little bit of candied heaven, which is obviously better.

Blackberry Gorgonzola Salad w Mixed Berry Vinaigrette_LYK2

Rob’s mom is a salad-making genius and she always has a bag of raw pecans around, ready for to turn them into the candied version. I never keep candied or toasted nuts in the house, just raw, so that way it’s easy to doctor them up to how you want them…but that also means you have to know how to doctor them up!

Blackberry Gorgonzola Salad w Mixed Berry Vinaigrette_LYK1

If you find yourself in this little pickle, just take about 1 cup of pecans or walnuts (or really any nut), a pad of butter, a good scoop of brown sugar and toast on the stove, stirring often, for a couple minutes, being sure not to burn them! Transfer to parchment or wax paper to cool and harden. Eat or top on salad, and store the rest in an airtight container! Easy peasy.

Blackberry Gorgonzola Salad w Mixed Berry Vinaigrette_LYK8

Once you make your dressing, and your candied pecans, drizzle and sprinkle them over leafy greens, add crumbly cheese, and additional fresh berries. I threw a couple of other goodies in there too for added crunch and flavor, but you could also keep it simple!

Blackberry Gorgonzola Salad w Mixed Berry Vinaigrette_LYK4

 

Blackberry & Gorgonzola Spring Greens Salad with Mixed Berry Vinaigrette

Print Recipe!

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups frozen mixed berries (or use fresh)

3 1/2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 1/2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard

3 1/2 Tablespoons canola oil

1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

pinch black pepper, to taste

 

Salad Ingredients:

8 cups mixed spring greens

2 ribs celery, sliced on the diagonal

1 pint blackberries, halved (or another favorite berry)

2 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup candied pecans, roughly chopped (see note below to make your own

1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese, or more if desired

 

Directions:

For the Vinaigrette: Allow frozen berries to mostly thaw through. If using fresh berries, chop them up. Place in blender or use an immersion blender stick and blend until pureed. Add vinegar, mustard and maple syrup and blend until mixed well.

Stream in canola oil, adding a little more if desired (it will thin it out a little bit). Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Store in an air-tight container (a jam jar works great!), and it will keep up to 1 1/2 in the fridge.

 

For the salad: Place lettuce in a large salad bowl. Top with celery, blackberries, green onions, candied pecans and gorgonzola cheese. Right before enjoying, drizzle with desired amount of Mixed Berry Vinaigrette and toss.

 

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Chrissy

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5 Comments to “Blackberry & Gorgonzola Salad with Mixed Berry Vinaigrette”

  1. so pretty and colorful! love the combo of cheese and fruit, I’ll stick pieces of bleu cheese into raspberries as a snack and eat a whole half pint… probably should eat this salad instead lol

  2. Chrissy

    I love that you sneak little nibblets of cheese into raspberries….we should swap ideas! And yea, this salad is so pretty! It’s easily my new favorite. Good thing I made extra dressing!!

  3. We are going whale watching tomorrow, and I’m in charge of the salad. Needless to say, I will make this one! Looks yummy! Thanks for the inspiration

  4. Chrissy

    Whale watching! Cool! Don’t let them get your tasty salad!
    Dressing is a little on the thick side, but I really liked it that way! You could thin it out a bit more by adding more oil and a little more white wine vinegar :). Enjoy!

  5. It was a big hit! We had a whale of a time, but no whales were seen unfortunately….just millions of dolphins jumping and frolicking all over the place. Quite the sight! Everyone loved the salad..the only thing I did differently was to strain the berries through a fine mesh to get rid of all the seeds before I added any of the oil and vinegar, etc. Yummy! Thanks again for such a fun salad.