Colourful, tasty and nutritious!
I have always been a big fan of blueberries, so when we all learned a number of years ago that they are a powerful source of antioxidants I resolved to incorporate them into even more dishes. Adding them to salads has long been a favourite trick, which got me to thinking that perhaps they would also make a great salad dressing. The answer: they sure do. Feel free to dress up this protein-packed salad any way you like – kale or lettuce instead of spinach; mozzarella and bacon bits instead of chèvre and walnuts. Just don’t forget to add a generous handful of fresh blueberries on top, and use wild berries if you can access them, as they have twice the antioxidants of cultivated. One last tip: haskap berries would make an excellent alternative; if you don’t know about them, you can read about my day on a haskap farm.
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (.6 g) pepper
- 1/4 cup (50 g) wild blueberries (fresh or thawed from frozen)
- 8 cups (250 g) chopped spinach leaves
- 1/3 cup (75 g) crumbled chèvre
- 1/3 cup (37 g) toasted walnuts, chopped
- 1/3 cup (61 g) fresh blueberries
- Prepare the vinaigrette first by placing the olive oil and garlic in a heatproof container. Microwave on medium-high power for one minute to partially cook the garlic and mellow its flavour. Let cool 5 minutes.
- Place the olive oil and garlic, vinegars, Dijon, maple syrup, salt, pepper and blueberries in a blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the acidity or sweetness to suit your preferences, if needed. Set aside.
- To assemble the salad, place the chopped spinach in a large bowl. Drizzle 2/3 of the dressing over top then toss thoroughly (I like to use my very clean hands to do this). Add additional dressing as needed – you want the leaves well coated but you do not want a puddle of dressing in the bottom of the bowl.
- Top with chèvre, walnuts and blueberries and serve immediately.
Serves 4; recipe can easily be multiplied.