Sunday, September 9, 2012

Big Lagoon Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette with Blackberry Heaven Salad

Dylan or Misty took a great photo of the salad...
After a week of picking blackberries like a delighted child, this is the salad and dressing that I made along with my brother and sister-in-law, to take to the rehearsal dinner for my brother Jeff's wedding.  It's tongs-ful of late summer coastal heaven. As with most of my recipes, we made it first and determined amounts afterward.  You can measure if you want to, but you'll probably want to taste and adjust for sweet/ salty/ acid afterward.

Greens (we had probably two or three gallons of torn, farmers-market fresh greens)
1-2 firm pears, sliced fairly thinly
1/2 c. toasted walnuts chopped into large pieces
1 1/2 c. heirloom cherry-sized tomatoes
3 c. blackberries, whole
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (goat cheese would be good, too)

Nasturtium flowers (7-8) and 2 c.greens (large greens torn)
Cilantro flowers (for garnish)

2/3 c. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 large shallots, chopped roughly
2 tsp. dijon or whole-grain mustard
2-3 c. blackberry puree w/ seeds strained out
2 tbsp honey or sugar
2/3 c. olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

Place shallots and vinegar together into blender first, and then add other ingredients.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust salt/ pepper/ sweet/ acid.  Makes about a liter of dressing, just enough to fill a leftover wine bottle from the week's festivities.  My 6 year-old daughter made the custom label.  Isn't it awesome?  That's her imaginative rendition of the bride and groom.  Such a little artiste.

Happy Wedding, Jeff and Natalynne!

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