Yesterday for lunch, with the help of my daughter, I made this gorgeous Arugula Salad with Blackberries and Chevre with Blackberry-Thyme Vinaigrette. I get pretty excited about salad. If you follow me on Instagram or Pinterest, you've probably noticed. :)
As I'm typing this, I'm watching the branches from the large tree in my front yard sway in the breeze. The leaves are just barely emerging from the buds. The trees are very old--60+ years. Maybe more. The branches are so long that when we had an early snow last Autumn, they were weighed down and blocked our driveway. I love that tree.
Before I know it, the branches will be covered with lush leaves and shade the front yard. My kids will climb up the thick trunk and call for me to come get them out because they aren't afraid to climb up, but getting down is another matter all together.
I'm feeling like I'm emerging from a long Winter hibernation. I think I must suffer from seasonal depression because as soon as we had a few warm, sunny days I felt alive again. I was ready to conquer the world and my piles and piles of laundry. And as always happens each Spring, I'm ready to ditch the thick, comforting root vegetable and squash soups and stews in favor of vibrant, green salads full of fresh berries or juicy tomatoes. Salads just like this one.
The night are getting shorter and days are getting longer. I'm finding that I'm looking forward to school being out and having the kids around (though I'm sure I'll change my mind about that tomorrow), if only so we can sleep in a bit and not be so rushed in the morning. I love long, slow mornings with breakfast chatter about the previous night's dreams and plans for the day. I love sitting outside with a bowl of salad for lunch while they ride their scooters and bikes up and down the driveway over and over, never tiring, always coming up with new ways to race each other. I look forward to planting my garden this weekend (I hope!) and lovingly tending to it each day. I'm just about ready to plant a blackberry bush once and for all so in a few years I can enjoy blackberries still warm from the August sun and so I don't have to wait until they go on sale at the store. Plus, they taste better, don't they? Things we grow ourselves always seem to.
And so for today I'm sharing this pretty salad that is somewhat based on another favorite salad of mine, but with some updated tweaks and changes. The vinaigrette alone is worth making the salad. My little redhead helped me whisk it together and we tasted and tweaked until it was just right. She said, "Mom, I'll eat salad if I can have that on it."
I hope you love this salad just as much as I do.
Arugula Salad with Blackberries and Chevre with Blackberry-Thyme Vinaigretteoriginal recipe
Use good goat cheese, vinegar and olive oil, and fresh thyme if you can. All of these things will give you the best, freshest tasting salad.
For salad:6-8 ounces fresh arugula
8-12 ounces fresh blackberries
4 ounces chevre (goat cheese), crumbled
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
For blackberry-thyme vinaigrette:3 heaping Tablespoons blackberry jam (seedless, all-fruit is best)
4 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4-1/2 teaspoon grainy or Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
For salad:Place arugula in one large or several smaller salad bowls. Top with the fresh blackberries, chevre and hazelnuts. Drizzle with some of the blackberry-thyme vinaigrette. Pass the remaining vinaigrette alongside.
For blackberry-thyme vinaigrette:Whisk jam with vinegar. While whisking, add the olive oil in a slow, steady drizzle. Add the garlic, thyme, and mustard. Taste and add salt and pepper.
Yield: 6-8 salads
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