Blackberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

This blackberry salad is classic and chic: blackberries, greens, goat cheese, and almonds, tossed with a creamy balsamic vinaigrette.

Blackberry salad

The sweet tart taste of a ripe blackberry is like none other. What better way to use the season’s best berries than a blackberry salad? This green salad is classic and chic: baby greens, soft goat cheese and smoked almonds bring a flavor that’s extraordinary for the amount of prep time required. Top it off with creamy and tart Best Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing. Upon first bite, Alex and I both declared “Wow.” Here’s how to make this tasty and healthy side salad!

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Blackberry salad with balsamic vinaigrette

How to make blackberry salad

A sweet and savory green salad is one of our favorite ways to accessorize a meal! The sweet element plays well with savory main dishes like salmon or pasta. This blackberry salad is easy to whip up. Here are the ingredients required for this blackberry salad:

  • Ripe blackberries (local, if possible!)
  • Mixed baby greens (or any lettuce mix)
  • Smoked roasted almonds (or any nut)
  • Soft goat cheese
  • Balsamic vinaigrette: made with balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and olive oil
How to make balsamic vinaigrette recipe

Making balsamic vinaigrette

Outside of those beautiful dark purple blackberries, the star of this salad is the balsamic dressing. This dressing comes out beautifully creamy every time. Our trick? Dijon mustard. It adds flavor and helps maintain that creamy texture. Simply whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard, then whisk in the olive oil tablespoon by tablespoon until a creamy emulsion forms. For the dressing, go to Best Balsamic Dressing.

This blackberry salad recipe calls for a half recipe of the dressing. But we’d recommend making a full recipe! You can store the remainder of the dressing in a sealed container in the refrigerator and use it for salads throughout the week. Just bring it to room temperature prior to serving.

Blackberry salad

Customizing this blackberry salad

Change the fruit!

This salad is endlessly customizable! Use any berry or seasonal fruit: strawberries, raspberries, black raspberries, blueberries, peaches, or plums would work perfectly here. (Try our Blueberry Salad or Strawberry Salad.) If it’s winter, try sliced apples or sliced oranges. Use whatever fruit you have on hand!

Mix up the nuts!

This blackberry salad features smoked almonds: the smokiness brings a nuance that elevates it to a new level! But it works well with any type of nut. Try toasted almonds, toasted pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, or pecans for different flavor profiles. You could also toast the nuts for a few minutes in a dry skillet, stirring often, to bring out the flavor.

Change up the cheese!

Of course, you could change the cheese in this salad (or omit it). Try goat cheese, feta crumbles, shaved Parmesan, Manchego, or even a sharp cheddar. Try buying local goat cheese if you can find it! We have a local goat cheese vendor at our farmers market (Caprini Creamery if you’re local to Indianapolis). If you’d rather have a plant-based salad, you can omit the cheese! It tastes just as good on its own.

Use a different salad dressing!

Lastly, you could use a different salad dressing in this blackberry salad. Try it with another tangy vinaigrette, like Citrus Salad Dressing, Lemon Vinaigrette, or Honey Mustard Dressing.

Plate with food almost all eaten

How to serve it!

One of Alex and my favorite things about this blackberry salad is that because it’s so classic, it can pair with lots of different main dishes. It’s a healthy side dish that works for dinner parties or an easy weeknight meal: it’s perfect with pizza or Italian recipes. If you make the dressing in advance, you can whip it up in just 5 minutes! Here are some main dishes that, paired with this salad, become a meal:

This blackberry salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the cheese (it’s just as good!).

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Blackberry salad

Blackberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (13 votes, average: 4.23 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This blackberry salad is classic and chic: blackberries, greens, goat cheese, and almonds, tossed with a creamy balsamic vinaigrette.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 recipe Best Balsamic Vinaigrette*
  • 1 cup ripe blackberries
  • 8 cups baby greens mix (we used baby spinach and arugula)
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup smoked salted almonds (or any almonds)

Instructions

  1. Make the Best Balsamic Vinaigrette. (*For the nutrition analysis, we’ve calculated 1 tablespoon dressing per serving; but we recommend making the entire dressing recipe so you can have more for later! Save leftovers in a sealed container and refrigerate; bring to room temperature prior to serving.)
  2. Wash the blackberries.
  3. Place the greens on plates, then top with blackberries, goat cheese crumbles, and almonds. Drizzle with the desired amount of dressing and serve.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Italian Inspired

Keywords: Blackberry salad, Best blackberry salad, Blackberry balsamic salad,

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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