Spinach salad with blueberry vinaigrette

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.

Ingredients

Vinaigrette:

  • 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)

Salad:

  • 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

Method

  • 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.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.

5 thoughts

  1. Paula, your vinaigrette has some unusual ingredients and the method of heating the olive oil and garlic is different as well. I will definitely give this a try. I imagine you can sub in many different fruits in the vinaigrette.

    1. Thanks – it is unusual but my husband does not prefer raw garlic so this is the method I came up with. I make raspberry vinaigrette this way also, though I do strain it after blending to remove the seeds.

Leave a Reply to Paula Roy Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.