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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Recipe | Very Berry Rainbow Salad

This is the only salad my girls will eat. And by "eat" I don't mean "gobble up", I mean "have a few bites, mostly berries, sometimes tomatoes and feta." But they're about ten times more likely to try this salad than they are to try taco salad. Which is my favorite. Darn them.

My friend Melissa introduced me to this gem of a salad this summer. I have found it to be a huge hit with my family and incredibly versatile and delicious! So thanks Melissa!

The stars of the Very Berry Salad show are the berries, of course. But the other key players are cucumbers, tomatoes, almonds, feta cheese, and chicken (optional.) (Um don't forget the lettuce. Just saying)

Melissa usually uses strawberries and I prefer it that way, too, but on the particular day in question the strawberry selection at the store was looking a little past it's prime. So I improvised and went with raspberries instead! Success!

Blueberries are the girls' favorite part of this salad. (possibly because they're a rarity in this house... why OH WHY do they have to be so expensive???) Anyways if they're feeling particularly fussy about eating salad, they turn it into a game of "find the blueberries in the salad and then tell Mom you're done." Charming little buggers.

Isn't she a beauty? And obviously you can use any variety of veggies, fruits, cheeses, or nuts that you prefer. Apparently my husband is developing an almond allergy so I might have to try cashews or something. 

I think I might add some yellow next time... mango? peaches? cantelope? I've also used grapes, which were delicious.

I think the other huge part of the success of this salad is the sweet dressing. I really like trying the fruit vinegars I found at the store in Globus (this one is cranberry.) We've done blueberry and raspberry, too.

If you don't have fruit flavored vinegar, you can still make your fruity dressing! Just combine two generous spoonfuls of strawberry jelly with balsamic vinegar and shake before you add the oil. You can use whatever jelly flavor is your family's favorite!

This is roughly the proportion I use of vinegar-to-oil for my dressings. If I'm adding jelly, I shake the jelly and vinegar first to make sure they're combined well. Then add the oil. A generous dash of salt and that's that! Just taste it to make sure it doesn't need more of something. (I usually need more oil so it's not too tangy, or more salt because DUH salt is amazing)

Speaking of salt, if you're a freshly ground salt and pepper snob like me then you have to check out these new salt and pepper grinders Jesse got for me! After years of buying cheap grinders that either don't work well or end up broken, he finally did some America's Test Kitchen research for me and we splurged on these beauties! 

Cole and Mason Derwent Precision Gourmet Salt and Pepper Mill

They are absolutely glorious additions to my kitchen :o) But I digress...

Meat is optional for this salad, but if you want it, chicken is the way to go. And if you're going with chicken, grilling is ALSO the way to go! But maybe that's just me. I'm pretty partial to grilled chicken on top of salads.

Very Berry Rainbow salad is best enjoyed on the balcony in the summer sun with a glass of white wine. But seriously I swear as soon as I took these pictures Germany sucked all the sun back into it's deep dark hole of overcast sky!

So you can also enjoy it whenever and wherever the heckity-heck you want. Give it a try and let me know if your kids like it! And let me know in the comments if you've added other yummy fruit to salad before. This is a relatively new thing for me (fruit AND veggies on salad) and I'm totally in love!


  1. blueberries are my kids favorite too & every single time i go to the store or market or anywhere they are the most expensive fruit w/ the least amount of fruit! i told matt i really want to consider getting blueberry, strawberry & black raspberry bushes next year to add to our garden!!

    1. Jamie that is such a great idea! Imagine how much fun they'd have picking their own!

  2. this is so colorful! and not only delish but a nutritionist's delight :) nice job

    1. Thanks MIL! It's nice to try something different.

  3. Looks lovely! Not a fan of fruit on salads... but Stephen loves it. I discovered a great treasure this year when my children and I would visit local parks that had wooded areas... free wild berries for the picking! :) It was so much fun! A tradition in the making.

    PS - I totally was thinking of you last night when I made my own Spinach Wraps... have you ever tried it? They are so good and so beautiful! I made Annie's Eats... give it a try if you haven't already!! :) http://www.annies-eats.com/2014/08/13/homemade-spinach-wraps/

    Much love!

    1. Amanda thanks so much for the link! I am in a pb&j rut with the girls' school lunches so I followed Annie on instagram to get more inspiration. I'm drooling over that cool bento box style lunchbox, too! I pinned the Spinach Wraps, I'm pretty excited to try them because I make breakfast burritos on a regular basis and I just recently bought a tortilla press so it should make homemade tortillas easier!