Chopped Salad w/ Blackberry Shallot Viniagrette

First of all - time to clean the camera lens.  Blur is not becoming...

Now that (in)formalities are out of the way...

The hazy, hot humid days of summer have turned my palette to the lighter side. 

There is something about the vast quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables available that call out.  And in their peak - they need little tweaking.  A light hand will do.  Just simply garnish. 

Sometimes life should be so easy.  So unaffected.   

Enjoy it while it lasts...

Before it all becomes just a memory...

As a note.  This salad was adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks - Clean Start by Terry Walters. 

I know I probably committed a heresy by adding meat & cheese and that by doing so, I stripped this salad from its "clean" status.  I know.  I know.  I know.  And I should be sorry, but it was so good...  I also changed up the dressing just a "wee bit" by giving pepper a more prominent role. 

For the salad - do whatever the heck you want, just make sure to chop everything into bite sized pieces.  I noted what I used as a guideline - your house, your rules.  The vinaigrette is the star here. 

Chop Salad with Blackberry-Shallot Vinaigrette
Adapted from Clean Start by Terry Walters

For the salad
2 medium sized head of Romaine lettuce (four to six cups), chopped
1 avocado, chopped into 1/2" pieces, tossed in 1 Tbs lemon juice
2 small cucumbers, chopped into 1/2" pieces or sliced thin
2 carrots, sliced thin
4 Campari tomatoes, quartered
10 blackberries, cut in half
5 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles

For the vinaigrette
10 whole blackberries
1 shallot, finely diced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs sherry vinegar
1 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs pink peppercorns, crushed (mortar & pestle)
1/2 tsp coarse salt

Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and press the berries through the sieve with the back of a spoon.  Press as much juice as you can out of the berries - discard the remaining pulp and seeds.  In an 8 oz jar, mix together the blackberry juice and all of the remaining ingredients for dressing.  Shake well.  Let sit at room temperature (cover on) for at least a half hour to let flavors meld together.  Shake well, again, just before serving.

In a large bowl toss together lettuce, avocado, tomato, cucumbers, carrots.  Sprinkle with blackberries, bacon & cheese.  Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad.



  1. Great looking salad and I love homemade berry dressings!

  2. Cher,looks really yummy and I think all salads need a little cheese and meat (especially bacon!!!)

  3. That is a nice berry dressing. Thanks for the recipe. Shall try this out when there are blackberries for sale :)

  4. It looks delicious, Cher. I think I would have added a little bit of meat to it as well. :) The blackberries look so pretty.

  5. Dear Cher, I have tagged you. You can read more here: http://easilygoodeats.blogspot.com/2011/08/i-have-been-tagged.html

    It requires a little bit of effort, not too much, and the outcome should be interesting. I hope you can manage to find time to participate otherwise its OK.

  6. Oh, never ever apologize for adding cheese!! (or meat for that matter.) : )

  7. This salad looks wonderful...I love cheese in all my salads! Love your last photo!

  8. It's amazing that something as simple as a salad could make us so happy. THis salad makes me happy!

  9. I love this salad, Cher! It's beautiful & sounds like a perfect flavor combination.

  10. I really like the idea of the fruity, spicy vinaigrette! And isn't a good salad supposed to go well with meat and cheese, anyway?

  11. That vinaigrette looks great - I've got everything needed for it in the house, too. I think I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow!


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