I used to be one of those people who didn’t understand the concept of fruit in a savory salad. Sweet, ripe fruit and savory cheese, greens and dressing…why would anyone do that?! Luckily, I’ve realized the error in my ways and understand that this is one of life’s greatest combinations, sweet and savory.
This salad is full of ripe summer berries, creamy avocado and mixed greens. Sharp green onions add a bite that the salad needs. Crumbled cheese rounds out every salad, right?! I used goat cheese, but feta or gorgonzola would be good substitutes. The dressing is so so good: a combination of strawberry jam, white balsamic vinegar, Dijon and olive oil-if you have access to strawberry balsamic vinegar, use it here! I bought some awhile back that I rarely use but I subbed out some of the white balsamic to amp up the strawberry flavor and it did not disappoint. The good news is the vinegar will last forever, so you can just keep making this salad over and over to use it up!
But let’s be serious: the caramelized almonds are the star. Approach these like bacon and make extra because you will probably eat half of them before they make it into the salad. If you’re scared of making caramel, this is the one for you because it’s easy and there’s not bubbling-hot cream or butter to deal with. You’ll melt the sugar over medium heat; once melted, add the almonds and toss continuously so they don’t burn. The almonds will look a sandy mess, but leave them on the heat and keep stirring and the sugar will melt again and the almonds will brown. Once they are coated and light golden brown, remove from the heat, wait for them to cool and then eat half of them before anyone else can get to them.
This truly is the perfect summer salad. And if you’re like I used to be-fearful of salads with fruit that aren’t “fruit salads”-try this one! I promise you’ll change your mind.
The perfect sweet and savory salad recipe! Ripe berries, creamy avocado, mixed greens and sharp goat cheese with a delicious strawberry balsamic dressing…oh, and don’t forget the showstopper caramelized almonds!
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Splash of water
- Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
- 3 tablespoons strawberry jam (I love Bonne Maman)
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or even better, 1 tablespoon strawberry balsamic vinegar + 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar)
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 5 to 6 ounces mixed baby greens
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 10 ounces strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 6 ounces blueberries
- 6 ounces blackberries
- 1 large avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- 4 ounces goat cheese, gorgonzola or feta, crumbled
- To make the caramelized almonds: Melt the sugar with a splash of water in a small skillet over medium heat. Once the sugar has melted, add the almonds; toss constantly to coat all of the almonds in the sugar syrup. The sugar will turn grainy, but continue to cook and it will re-melt and caramelize. Cook the almonds, stirring constantly, until they are lightly golden brown. Remove from the heat and transfer to a wax paper-lined plate. Lightly season with flaky sea salt. Once cooled, break apart with your fingers.
- To make the dressing: Combine the strawberry jam, balsamic vinegar, Dijon and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl, whisking to incorporate. Slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil until an emulsified dressing forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To assemble the salad: Combine the mixed greens, chopped parsley, avocado, green onions, and berries in a large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to lightly coat the ingredients. Add the caramelized almonds and cheese. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.
Inspiration: Triple Berry Salad with Sugared Almonds on recipegirl.com