Friday, November 16, 2012

Red Leaf Salad with Blackberries and Blue Cheese

Sometimes the simplest salads are the best salads.

There is a whole new array of salads out there that feature fruit.  Fruit can lend a new texture and a little sweetness to a salad.  Using seasonal fruit allows you to change up your salad no matter the season.  The other bonus with fruit is that is can be added to your salad whole, raw, chopped, grilled, or pureed!

MGG never really liked fruit in his salad.  He typically sticks to the garden variety vegetables.  Me? I started out by putting raisins on my garden salad.  A little sweetness on top.  I loved it!  Now I've expanded to all kinds of fruits, and so has he.  The best part is he actually likes them!  Being the rabbit he is (he loves salads) it wasn't too hard of a sell to start getting him used to the fruity sweet taste.  A few cranberries here, a pear here, and before you know it he's craving them.

I particularly like to balance the sweetness or tartness of the fruit with a nice cheese.  And I really enjoy a regular ole vinaigrette rather than a fruit based one.  So this salad is just that.  Tart plump blackberries served on a bed of red leaf lettuce.  It is dressed with a balsamic homemade dressing and topped with some crumbled blue cheese to give it that edge.  YUMMY!

This is the perfect side salad, as it goes well with chicken and beef dishes.  You could also turn this into a wonderful main dish salad by adding some caramelized red onions and some sliced steak.  Hint Hint, this would be a wonderful Thanksgiving salad, simple to make and full of flavor!

So try this wonderfully "simple" salad.  The flavors are outstanding!

Red Leaf Salad with Blackberries and Blue Cheese

Serves 4-6

3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper
6 c torn red leaf lettuce
½ lb blue cheese, crumbled
1 c fresh blackberries

In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Place lettuce in a bowl.  Add the dressing and toss to coat evenly.  Add crumbled blue cheese.  Divide among serving plates, or platter and top with blackberries.  Serve.

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