Wow, is it Tuesday already?! Time has been flying these last few days, and I’m loving it! At times, the challenges of the postpartum phase seem to stretch on without end, but this week, another layer of clouds is lifting. The world is a more beautiful place to me today, and I am so blessed to have this blog, this space to share and connect with you all. Food is something I love, yes, but the reason I love it is because of the people that surround it. To me, “loving people through food” is about nurturing the bodies and spirits of our families and friends, enjoying the abundance around us, and giving thanks for God’s provision. You, the readers, are what make this blog worthwhile for me, and if you haven’t heard me say it before, thank you for reading. I’m so glad you are here.
Thank you also to those who entered to win a copy of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. I used random.org to make the selection, and the winner is…Paula! As I mentioned previously, this book was gifted to me as part of a generous prize pack, so be on the lookout for more giveaways in the next few weeks as I share the other goodies.
For today’s post, I’ve teamed up with Driscoll’s Berries to create a fresh salad with a sweet and tangy raspberry vinaigrette. Dan and I planted a garden this year (our first ever!), and while the growth of our kohlrabi and carrots is evidently stunted, the greens are absolutely flourishing. We planted a mesclun mix, but of all the plant varieties therein, the arugula is by far the most prolific. We’ve enjoyed it a number of ways, sometimes dressing it lightly with balsamic and olive oil and other times fancying it up a bit. This salad assembles quickly and is replete with several layers of flavor: the spicy arugula against the tart raspberries, the sweetness of the honey, the toasty pecans. It would be easy for these strong elements to compete for attention and overpower one another, but that’s where the goat cheese comes in. Its clean, refreshing flavor brings it all together.
- 1 6-ounce package Driscoll’s raspberries (about 1 ½ cups)
- Juice of 1 large navel orange
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Raw pecans
- Fresh arugula, rinsed and dried
- Crumbled goat cheese
- Optional: additional fresh raspberries for garnish
- To make the vinaigrette, place the fresh raspberries, orange juice, red wine vinegar, Greek yogurt, and honey in a blender, and pulse gently until the ingredients are incorporated. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Add additional honey, if desired, as well as salt and pepper to taste, again pulsing to combine.
- Heat a dry skillet over medium high heat until hot, then add the pecans and toast for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Shake the pan occasionally to prevent burning. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool, then give the nuts a coarse chop.
- To serve, plate the arugula, drizzle with the fresh raspberry vinaigrette, and sprinkle with toasted pecans, goat cheese, and additional raspberries if desired.
- Store remaining vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Tips and Tidbits
- A blender is not required to make this dressing, but it does add ease to the process. To prepare the vinaigrette sans blender, begin by mashing the raspberries in a bowl with a fork or potato masher, then whisk in the orange juice, red wine vinegar, Greek yogurt, and honey until combined. While whisking continuously, drizzle in the oil in a slow and steady stream until the dressing is emulisified. Finish by adjusting the quantity of honey as needed and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- Arugula has a sharp flavor that doesn’t appeal to all palates, so if you wish to tone down its bite, you can substitute all or part of it with something milder. I love the velvety texture and neutral flavor of butter and Bibb lettuces, and fresh spinach is a reliable complement to fruit-filled salads. As I’ve stated before, you are the boss in your own kitchen, so feel free to tailor this dish to suit you and your family!
- If you are looking for more ways to incorporate raspberries into your summer cooking, be sure to check out Driscoll’s YouTube page for inspiration, recipes, and ideas.
Disclosure: Driscoll’s Berries provided me with raspberries to use for this post at no cost to me; however, I am not receiving monetary compensation for my work. All opinions are my own.