Summer Salad with Blueberries & Blue Cheese

Blueberries and blue cheese are lead players in this bright summer salad, anything but a rote toss-up. Supporting players cucumber, celery, and candied walnuts add texture and crunch. If possible, avoid the nearly flavorless baby spinach rampant in supermarkets today in favor of leaves with a bit of character, like crinkly savoy spinach. For a little more heft, add slivers of prosciutto. You can also check out some of these other salad recipes for summer.

Cheeses Galore

Maybe you see blue cheese and go “ew,” since it’s one of the cheeses with an odor that can turn some people off. But before you judge, one way to make sure you’re getting the bets quality blue cheese it to buy a block from a local cheesemonger rather than the supermarket and crumble it yourself. Though part of this recipe is that the blue-on-blue is fun, if you’re really a dead-set hater, you can easily substitute blue cheese for any number of cheeses. Generally, you want goat milk cheese or sheep milk cheese (feta) for the subtler flavors than your average American cheese. You can also experiment with thin, flake-like slices of Swiss cheese or provolone. The freshness of the berries contrasts well with the robustness of cheese.

Summer Salad with Blueberries & Blue Cheese Recipe

Summer Salad with Blueberries & Blue Cheese Ingredients

  • About 1 lb fresh spinach
  • ½ cucumber, halved lengthwise and seeds scooped out, sliced very thinly
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced very thinly
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 4 oz blue cheese crumbles
  • 4 oz candied or caramelized walnuts

For the Dressing:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup walnut oil
  • 3 tbsp raspberry vinegar or other fruit or fruit-infused vinegar (see note with Lamb Burger recipe)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp poppyseeds

Salad Preparation Instructions

For the Dressing:

  1. To make the dressing, combine the oils, vinegar, sugar, mustard, and salt in a jar.
  2. Cover and shake vigorously to combine.
  3. Add poppyseeds and shake again. (Leftover dressing can be refrigerated for a week.)

For the Salad:

  1. To assemble the salad, toss the spinach with about one-quarter of the dressing and arrange in a bowl or on individual salad plates.
  2. Toss the cucumber and celery with another couple of tablespoons of dressing. Scatter them over the spinach.
  3. Arrange blueberries, blue cheese, and walnuts over the other ingredients. Drizzle the salad with more dressing and serve.

Note: Candied or caramelized walnuts can often be found in supermarkets near the cheeses and with other cheese accompaniments.

Story by Cheryl Alters Jamison / Styling by Anna Franklin / Photography by Dave Bryce

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