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Blueberry Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette 

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This Blueberry and Basil salad is so fresh, vibrant, and full of flavor, yet so easy to make! The sweetness from the blueberries, herby freshness from the basil, and tang from the balsamic vinaigrette are the perfect flavor combinations for this summer salad!

My favorite thing about summer is all of the fresh and flavorful produce! I tend to eat a lot more salads in the summer because there is an abundance of amazing veggies! Whether it is from your own backyard garden, or a haul from the farmers market, there’s something so satisfying about a summer salad. I love to combine flavors, and textures, and also add fruit to salads. Adding fruit is such an easy way to elevate your salad! 

Blueberries and basil are such a great, yet somewhat unexpected, flavor combination. This recipe was created because I always have an abundance of blueberries from my garden. I had a bowl of fresh berries I needed to use so I threw them on a salad. Then I plucked some basil from the garden and added it on top and instantly fell in love! 

This recipe is written for a larger salad, but feel free to cut the recipe in half for individual servings. Or you can also just add all of the components of the salad without measuring, just measure with your heart! 

Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette 

I wouldn’t be doing my job as a Nutritionist without talking about store-bought dressings! There are a few major problems with the dressings you buy from the store. First, they usually contain seed oils, such as soybean oil or canola oil, which oxidize and are inflammatory. Second, they are usually full of sugar or even artificial sweeteners such as sucralose. It definitely is possible to find store-bought dressings that are made with quality ingredients, but they also come with a heavy price tag. 

Making your own dressing at home is so simple! Not only can save a ton of money, but you also are able to easily make dressings with quality and simple ingredients. 

This recipe is my go-to balsamic dressing recipe. It has 7 ingredients and comes together so fast! All you need to do is add all of your ingredients into a small container with a lid and then shake to emulsify. That’s it!

This dressing recipe will make enough to use for this salad, and then some! Save the rest in your fridge and use it for future use. The acidity in the dressing makes it safe to consume for a week or two. 

Tools to make the salad and vinaigrette

Half-Pint Mason Jars and Lids – I use Mason jars and lids for SO MANY applications! I store things in them and also use them when taking drinks on the go. Honestly, the uses are endless! For this recipe, you can add all the salad ingredients into the half-pint mason jar, add the lid, and then shake! I love the plastic lids because you can reuse them and throw them in the dishwasher. 

Microplane Grater/Zester– If you don’t have one of these in your kitchen, you need it! I love it because it can finely grate or zest so many different things. For this recipe, finely grating the parmesan cheese will help incorporate it into the salad. I will use this microplane grater to add parm on top of so many different dishes! From pasta to salads to pizza! You can also use a microplane for the garlic. This helps break the garlic into really small pieces so it will incorporate into the dressing without having large pieces that are not that pleasant to take of bite of. 

Ingredients for the Blueberry Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

For the vinaigrette

  • Extra virgin olive oil – As the base for dressing. You could also use avocado oil if you’d like. 
  • Balsamic vinegar – This is the main flavoring of the dressing! 
  • Honey – for a touch of sweetness to mellow out the vinegar 
  • Dijon mustard- The dijon acts as an emulsifier to bring the vinaigrette together. 
  • Shallot- diced. I love shallots for their mellow onion flavor. 
  • Garlic clove– minced. Tip: Use a microplane grater to get the garlic into really small pieces so that way you don’t get a bite with a large piece of raw garlic. 
  • Salt and pepper– a pinch of each 

For the salad

  • Mixed greens – I like to use a spring mix but you can use any type of green you like
  • Cucumber slices – the cucumbers add some nice crunch
  • Red onions – thinly sliced so the flavor is not overpowering
  • Blueberries – fresh blueberries are best. If you want to use frozen just let them thaw first and drain out the liquid 
  • Parmesan – adds flavor, saltiness and creaminess. I recommend using a brick of parmesan and then grating with a microplane grater to get small pieces of cheese that will blend into the salad. 
  • Basil – Use fresh basil and cut chiffonade. This just means to cut thin ribbons of the basil. To do so stack the basil leaves on top of each other and then roll into a cylinder. Then slice thinly. But in all honesty, you don’t really need to get fancy with it. Just chop them up and add to the salad!

Instructions to make the Basil Blueberry salad

First, make the dressing. Add all the ingredients into a small container with a lid (a half-pint mason jar with plastic lids is perfect for this!) Then shake vigorously to combine. You will only need about half the dressing for this recipe, so you can save the other half for future use. 

Next, add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Drizzle with about half the dressing (or as much as you desire) and then toss to combine. 

Transfer to a serving bowl or into individual bowls. This will make 2 large salads or 4 smaller side salads. 

Enjoy immediately! If you’d like to make it a full meal you can add chicken or salmon for protein. 

How to store the salad and dressing

If you would like to save the salad to eat later, do not add the dressing. The dressing will make the lettuce soggy so store them separately. Add the salad to an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Without the dressing, the salad will stay fresh for 2 days. 

The dressing is made from olive oil which will solidify when cold. To use the dressing, remove it from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour before using. Or, you can add it to a bowl of warm water to help the olive oil warm up quicker. 

Blueberry Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Blueberry Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yield: 2-4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This Blueberry and Basil salad is so fresh, vibrant, and full of flavor, yet so easy to make! The sweetness from the blueberries, herby freshness from the basil, and tang from the balsamic vinaigrette are the perfect flavor combinations for this summer salad!

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp shallot- diced
  • 1 garlic clove- minced

For the salad

  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • ½ cup cucumber slices
  • ½ cup red onions - thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup parmesan -grated
  • ¼ cup basil -sliced

Instructions

  1. First, make the dressing. Add all the ingredients into a small container with a lid. Then shake vigorously to combine. You will only need about half the dressing for this recipe, so you can save the other half for future use. 
  2. Next, add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Drizzle with about half the dressing (or as much as you desire) and then toss to combine. 
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl or into individual bowls. This will make 2 large salads or 4 smaller side salads. 
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

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