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.