It’s berry time! I’ve picked almost 20 pounds of strawberries and raspberries the past couple weeks and have been feverishly perfecting recipes that feature summer’s berry bounty. Several the recipes are for preserved berries so we (and you) can enjoy them year round. But this mixed berry salad recipe features fresh raspberries and strawberries in a mouthwatering and waistline friendly creamy strawberry dressing.
I’ve picked berries at my house, my CSA farm, and a U-pick farm a couple hours north of us in Arlington, WA. The berries at the U-pick farm were about twice the size of our berries. But the small size of my berries were perfect for popping into your mouth and using for fresh recipes.
Although there are so many ways to use freshly picked berries, salad is probably my favorite. We have had this salad 8 times in the past two weeks and still aren’t sick of it! Sometimes I add chicken to the salad to make a heartier dinner, but we love it as a side or main dish for dinner, as well as eating it for lunches. I’ve also brought over to dinner parties and potlucks to great success!
The dressing for this salad is surprisingly low in fat. I’d previously made versions of it using mayonnaise or cream, but decided to try lightening it up with a low fat milk base. I often mix vinegar or lemon juice with milk to make buttermilk and thought that would make a great base for the dressing for my berry salad. Well good news friends, it works! The dressing is a little thin the first day you make it, but still quite tasty. It keeps for over a week in the fridge and gets thicker each day. Just make sure to give it a good shake before using it.
I use my strawberry conserve in the dressing, but if you don’t have homemade conserve, you can just use strawberry or raspberry jam. The conserve/jam is the sweetener for the dressing and gives it a lovely pink color and berry flavor.
My last tip for this salad is to get creative. I ALWAYS make it with feta and some kind of onion, but I’m pretty flexible with the other details. Blueberries are a nice addition (they just aren’t in season yet for us) and strawberries or raspberries on their own are just fine too. For the onion, I’ve used white onions, sweet onions, red onions, green onions and shallots. All of them are great! I use buttercrunch and romaine from my garden, but you can also use spinach for a heartier salad. As I mentioned above, I sometimes include chicken and steak or lamb would be tasty too.
Have you gotten any fresh berries this season? What are you doing with them?
Summer Berry Salad RecipePrep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 0 minutes Total time: 10 minutes Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cup
- 3 TBS
- 1/4 cup
- 3 cups
torn lettuce greens, loosely packed
an onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup
crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup
small strawberries or sliced strawberries
- Put milk, vinegar and strawberry conserve in a pint sized jar and shake well.
- Place lettuce in a large bowl (or divide among 4 plates) and top with onion slices, feta, raspberries and strawberries. Drizzle salad with the dressing.
Approximate cost/serving: The cost really depends on if you grow any of your own food and making this when berries are in season. I grew my own raspberries, strawberries, lettuce and shallots so it cost me just $1 or 25 cents a serving in the remaining ingredients! If you’re buying everything in season it will probably be around $4.
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: The salad is vegetarian, to make it vegan skip the feta and make a vinaigrette subbing 1/4 cup olive oil for the milk. It’s naturally gluten free.