Last November Mike and I were able to get away together because he had an interview in Eugene, Oregon. While we were there we got to eat at a few cute restaurants, one of which was Cafe 440. We ordered a huge plate of nachos, which were amazing, and I got a salad as well. The salad had strawberries, blueberries, pistachios, red onion, and goat cheese. While I’m not usually a huge goat cheese fan, it worked really well in this salad and kind of oozed into the salad dressing to make it even creamier. The tang of the goat cheese was just enough to offset the sweetness from all the berries. The red onion helps cut through the sweetness too, plus it has a nice crunch, but if you don’t like it then leave it out. You’ll still get saltiness and crunch from the nuts.
I had never had pistachios in a salad before, but they work wonderfully in this one. I will say that when I was making this one I bought unshelled pistachios because they were cheaper. I can just take them out of their shells and save a few bucks. No big deal. Or so I thought. Maybe I’m just a terrible sheller of pistachios, but I didn’t buy a ton and it still took me FOREVER to get them all out of their shells and into my salad. If I’m completely honest, my fingers hurt from prying the shells open, and I was frustrated that sometimes when I victoriously opened the shell I had cracked the nut inside into pieces so it wasn’t big and green like it should be. Sometimes I found myself hunting for the precious pieces of nut that had fallen on the chair, on the floor, or had flung across the dining room from my inadequate shell prying techniques. In fact, I gave up half-way through shelling the small bag I bought because I had enough for Mike and my salad at the time. In other words, I wanted to procrastinate and do the rest later. So when I do this again I’ll be buying the shelled and salted pistachios to save me time and sensitive fingers. Do what you like, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂
So you can guess that all the ingredients that were in that salad are now in mine. With blueberries and strawberries being on sale this week it was the perfect time to recreate the lovely salad I had in Eugene. I tend to make it all without the dressing so that I can save it for lunches and then add the dressing later. This really is the perfect summer salad. It’s sweet and refreshing. You could always add grilled chicken to it, but it’s delicious as is. Happy berry season!
- 1 lb spring mix
- 1 pint container strawberries, sliced
- 1 small container blueberries
- 1/4 red onion, diced (optional)
- 4 oz mild goat cheese with honey
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- poppyseed dressing (your favorite)
- Wash blueberries, and strawberries. Slice strawberries and dice onions.
- Place spring mix in a large bowl.
- Mix berries and red onion into the salad mix.
- Sprinkle cheese and pistachios on top of salad.
- Drizzle with poppyseed dressing right before serving.
Recipe by Life’s Sweet Seasons