Spinach Berry Salad with Blackberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

This recipe offers a delightful blend of flavors and nutrients. The star of the show is spinach, accompanied by fresh blackberries, chevre, and walnuts, all delicately dressed with a homemade blackberry balsamic vinaigrette. Combining sweet berries with earthy spinach and a tangy dressing makes for a light and refreshing salad that can stand alone as a meal or complement any dish.

Spinach Berry Salad with Blackberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
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Photos of Spinach Berry Salad with Blackberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

The main ingredients in this recipe are readily available in most supermarkets. However, Chevre, a type of goat cheese, might not be in everyone's refrigerator. It is a soft, creamy cheese that brings a tangy flavor to the salad. If this is not available, you can substitute with Feta. Blackberry juice, which is used in the vinaigrette, may not be as common as other fruit juices, but it is worth going the extra mile to find it for this recipe as it lends a deep, fruit flavor that complements the other ingredients beautifully.

Ingredients for Spinach Berry Salad and Blackberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Spinach: A leafy green full of nutrients and flavor.

Chevre: A soft and tangy goat cheese.

Walnuts: Adds a crunchy texture and nutty flavor.

Blackberries: Brings a sweet and tart flavor.

Blackberry juice: Used in the vinaigrette, it lends a deep, fruit flavor.

Olive oil: The base of the vinaigrette. Its fruitiness pairs well with the blackberry juice.

Balsamic vinegar: Adds depth and tanginess to the vinaigrette.

Thyme: Provides a subtle earthy flavor.

One reader, Chandra Jauregui says:

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This spinach berry salad with blackberry-balsamic vinaigrette recipe is a game-changer! The combination of fresh spinach, juicy blackberries, and creamy chevre is simply divine. And that blackberry balsamic vinaigrette? It's the perfect blend of sweet and tangy. This salad is a must-try for anyone looking for a refreshing and flavorful dish.

Chandra Jauregui

Techniques Required for Making This Salad

Tossing the salad: Combine the baby spinach, chevre, walnuts, and blackberries in a large bowl, then gently mix the ingredients together until evenly distributed.

Making the vinaigrette: Whisk together the blackberry juice, extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried thyme, salt, and pepper until well-blended, ensuring the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Adjusting seasoning: Taste the vinaigrette and salad, and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serving the salad: Arrange the salad on individual plates or a serving platter, then drizzle the blackberry balsamic vinaigrette over the top just before serving.

How To Make Spinach Berry Salad with Blackberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Sweet-ish salads are always a welcome variation, and this spinach berry salad is no exception. Even the dressing is infused with blackberry juice.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking:
Total: 10 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

For Salad:

  • 8cupsbaby spinach,or mixed greens
  • 4ozchevre,crumbled
  • 1cupwalnuts,or pecans, toasted
  • 1pintfresh blackberries

For Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • ½cupblackberry juice,strained
  • ¼cupextra-virgin olive oil
  • 2tbspbalsamic vinegar
  • ½tspdried thyme
  • pinchsalt and pepper

Instructions

Salad:

  1. Toss together spinach, chevre, walnuts, and blackberries. Then drizzle with the blackberry balsamic vinaigrette. Serve.

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  1. Whisk together all ingredients until well-blended. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 342.47kcal
  • Fat: 27.70g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.13g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 15.15g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.18g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.00g
  • Fiber: 6.04g
  • Sugar: 9.64g
  • Protein: 9.57g
  • Cholesterol: 17.39mg
  • Sodium: 541.83mg
  • Calcium: 122.98mg
  • Potassium: 399.09mg
  • Iron: 2.73mg
  • Vitamin A: 247.51µg
  • Vitamin C: 32.46mg

Helpful Technique for Preparing spinach berry salad with blackberry-balsamic vinaigrette recipe

When making the blackberry balsamic vinaigrette, it's important to slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil while continuously whisking. This process, known as emulsification, will help to combine the oil and vinegar smoothly, preventing them from separating and giving your vinaigrette a more consistent and appealing texture. Also, using a fresh, high-quality balsamic vinegar can significantly enhance the flavor of your dressing.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing spinach berry salad with blackberry-balsamic vinaigrette recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and wash your spinach and berries in advance to save time when assembling the salad.

Use pre-made vinaigrette: If you're short on time, you can use a store-bought blackberry balsamic vinaigrette instead of making it from scratch.

Organize ingredients: Lay out all your ingredients and tools before you start cooking to streamline the process.

Quick assembly: Keep the salad ingredients ready and assemble just before serving to keep the spinach fresh and crisp.

Multi-task: While the vinaigrette is whisking, you can prepare the salad ingredients to save time.

Invest in a salad spinner: A salad spinner can help you quickly wash and dry the spinach, saving you time and effort.

Prep in bulk: Consider making a larger batch of the vinaigrette and storing it for future use to save time on preparation.

Substitute Ingredients For Spinach Berry Salad with Blackberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

  • baby spinach - Substitute with arugula: Arugula has a similar peppery flavor and tender texture, making it a great substitute for baby spinach in salads.

  • chevre - Substitute with feta cheese: Feta cheese has a tangy flavor and crumbly texture similar to chevre, making it a suitable substitute in this salad.

  • walnuts - Substitute with pecans: Pecans have a similar rich, nutty flavor and crunchy texture, making them a great alternative to walnuts in this salad.

  • fresh blackberries - Substitute with raspberries: Raspberries have a similar tartness and juiciness to blackberries, making them a suitable substitute in this salad.

  • blackberry juice - Substitute with pomegranate juice: Pomegranate juice offers a similar sweet-tart flavor profile and deep color, making it a good alternative for the vinaigrette.

Best Way to Present This Vibrant Salad

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the baby spinach in a delicate mound, carefully crumble the chevre on top, and scatter the walnuts and blackberries in an artful manner to create an eye-catching and appetizing presentation.

  2. Incorporate contrasting textures: The creamy chevre, crunchy walnuts, and juicy blackberries provide a delightful textural contrast, adding depth and interest to the dish.

  3. Balance the flavors: The sweet and tart blackberry balsamic vinaigrette complements the earthy spinach, tangy chevre, and nutty walnuts, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that will impress even the most discerning palates.

  4. Highlight the freshness of the ingredients: Emphasize the vibrant colors and freshness of the baby spinach and blackberries to showcase the quality and freshness of the ingredients.

  5. Create a visual focal point: Place a few whole blackberries strategically on top of the salad to draw attention and create a visually appealing focal point on the plate.

  6. Use elegant serving ware: Present the salad on a beautiful, minimalist plate or bowl to enhance the overall visual appeal and sophistication of the dish.

  7. Garnish with edible flowers: Add a touch of elegance and refinement by garnishing the salad with delicate, edible flowers for a stunning finishing touch.

Essential Tools for Making a Spinach Berry Salad

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used for chopping, slicing, shredding, and pureeing ingredients. It's perfect for making dressings, sauces, and chopping nuts for this recipe.
  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining the salad ingredients and tossing them with the vinaigrette. It's best to use a large mixing bowl to ensure all the ingredients are well coated.

Storing and Freezing Tips for This Salad

  • To store the spinach berry salad, place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, it's best to store the salad and dressing separately to prevent the spinach from wilting.
  • The blackberry balsamic vinaigrette can be stored in a sealed jar or container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Give it a good shake before using, as the ingredients may separate over time.
  • If you want to freeze the salad, it's not recommended as the spinach and berries will lose their texture and become mushy when thawed. The chevre and walnuts may also suffer from texture changes after freezing.
  • However, you can freeze the blackberry balsamic vinaigrette for up to 3 months. Pour the dressing into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer-safe bag or container. Thaw the cubes in the refrigerator overnight before using.
  • When ready to serve the salad, toss the spinach, chevre, walnuts, and blackberries together in a large bowl. Drizzle with the desired amount of blackberry balsamic vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Interesting Fact About spinach berry salad with blackberry-balsamic vinaigrette recipe

Spinach berry salad is a versatile dish that can be customized with different types of berries, nuts, and cheeses to suit your taste preferences.

Is Making This Salad at Home Cost-Effective?

This spinach berry salad with blackberry-balsamic vinaigrette is a cost-effective option for households. The ingredients, such as spinach, blackberries, and walnuts, are reasonably priced and widely available. The blackberry-balsamic vinaigrette adds a luxurious touch without breaking the bank. The estimated cost for a household of 4 people is approximately $15. The dish offers a delightful balance of flavors and textures, earning a solid 8/10 rating.

Is This Spinach and Berry Salad Healthy or Unhealthy?

This spinach berry salad with blackberry-balsamic vinaigrette is a nutritious and delicious choice. Here's why:

  • Spinach is packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and iron, making it a nutrient-dense base for the salad.
  • Blackberries are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, which support overall health and immunity.
  • Walnuts provide heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber, helping to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  • Chevre (goat cheese) adds a tangy flavor and a boost of protein and calcium to the salad.
  • The blackberry-balsamic vinaigrette is made with wholesome ingredients like olive oil, which is a healthy source of monounsaturated fats, and balsamic vinegar, which has antioxidant properties.

To make this salad even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Swap out the chevre for a lower-fat cheese like feta or opt for a plant-based alternative to reduce the overall fat content.
  • Toast the walnuts to enhance their flavor and crunch without adding extra oil.
  • Add more variety to the salad by incorporating other nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, such as sliced strawberries, blueberries, or mandarin oranges, and toss in some shredded carrots or sliced cucumbers for added crunch and fiber.
  • Experiment with different greens like arugula, kale, or mixed baby greens to vary the texture and nutritional profile of the salad.
  • To make the vinaigrette lighter, reduce the olive oil and increase the balsamic vinegar and blackberry juice proportions. You can also add a touch of honey or maple syrup for natural sweetness without going overboard on added sugars.

Editor's Opinion on This Delightful Spinach and Berry Salad

This spinach berry salad with blackberry-balsamic vinaigrette is a delightful combination of fresh, vibrant flavors. The baby spinach provides a tender base, while the creamy chevre, crunchy walnuts, and juicy blackberries add layers of texture and taste. The blackberry balsamic vinaigrette ties everything together with its sweet and tangy notes, elevating the salad to a whole new level. It's a perfect balance of savory and sweet, making it a refreshing and satisfying dish for any occasion.

Enhance Your Spinach Berry Salad with Blackberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes infused with roasted garlic for a rich and savory side dish.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and finished with a bright and zesty lemon flavor.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Sweet and tender carrots glazed with honey for a delightful and colorful addition to your meal.

Similar Salad Recipes to Try

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate a variety of vegetables in a zesty herb and garlic marinade, then thread them onto skewers and grill until tender and slightly charred. Serve as a colorful and flavorful side dish or appetizer.
Mango Chicken Salad: Toss together juicy mango chunks, grilled chicken, mixed greens, and a tangy lime vinaigrette for a refreshing and satisfying salad that's perfect for a light lunch or dinner.
Coconut Curry Shrimp: Sauté plump shrimp in a fragrant coconut curry sauce with bell peppers, onions, and peas. Serve over steamed rice for a delicious and aromatic meal that's sure to impress.
Berry Cobbler: Combine fresh mixed berries with a buttery, golden brown biscuit topping for a classic and comforting dessert that's best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Butternut Squash Soup: Simmer roasted butternut squash with onions, garlic, and warm spices until tender, then puree until smooth. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and fresh herbs for a cozy and satisfying soup.

Perfect Main Courses and Desserts to Pair with This Spinach Berry Salad

Main Courses:
Grilled Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce: Impress your guests with a perfectly grilled salmon fillet, topped with a tangy and refreshing lemon dill sauce. The combination of the smoky char from the grill and the bright flavors of the sauce will leave everyone wanting more.
Mushroom Risotto with Truffle Oil: Indulge in a creamy and luxurious mushroom risotto, finished with a drizzle of aromatic truffle oil. The earthy flavors of the mushrooms and the decadent truffle oil create a dish that is both comforting and elegant.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will leave your taste buds craving for more.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of a homemade apple crisp, with tender baked apples and a crispy oat topping. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and crunch.

Why trust this Spinach Berry Salad with Blackberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of fresh and nutritious ingredients. The baby spinach provides a healthy base, while the creamy chevre adds a rich and tangy flavor. The walnuts contribute a satisfying crunch, and the fresh blackberries bring a burst of sweetness. The blackberry juice in the vinaigrette adds a unique and fruity twist, complemented by the richness of the balsamic vinegar and the earthy aroma of dried thyme. With the use of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, this recipe promises a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that will surely delight the taste buds.

Share your thoughts on this delicious Spinach Berry Salad with Blackberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to make it even better!
FAQ:
How can I make this salad more filling?
You can add grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu to the salad to make it more filling and satisfying.
Can I use a different type of cheese instead of chevre?
Yes, you can substitute chevre with feta, goat cheese, or even blue cheese for a different flavor profile.
Can I use frozen blackberries instead of fresh ones?
Yes, you can use frozen blackberries if fresh ones are not available. Just make sure to thaw and drain them before adding to the salad.
How long can I store the blackberry balsamic vinaigrette?
The vinaigrette can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just give it a good shake before using.
Can I use a different type of nut instead of walnuts?
Absolutely! You can use pecans, almonds, or even pine nuts as a substitute for walnuts in this salad.

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