Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blueberry, Fennel and Feta Salad with Mint

Article first published as Blueberry, Feta and Fennel Salad with Mint on Blogcritics.

I’ve posted a few different arugula salad recipes lately, but wanted to try using blueberries in a salad, because they are so plentiful and affordable right now.  The contrast of the sweetness of the berries with the briny sharpness of the feta, and pepperiness of the greens is an unexpected delight.  You could substitute raspberries, blackberries or strawberries if you prefer.  And if feta is too strong a choice for you, use soft goat cheese.  You can also omit the nuts altogether, or try your favorite variety.  If you're over arugula, try mache or watercress for a nice change of pace. 

I used this as a first course for a meal that included a mustard and honey-brined pork tenderloin and butternut squash puree, but you could totally make this a main dish by adding a little grilled chicken.  Have fun with it and enjoy!

 6 cups of arugula
1 fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
1 pint fresh blueberries
3 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1 small cucumber, seeded and diced
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
2 Tbsp slivered almonds

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp White balsamic or white wine vinegar
Juice and zest of one orange
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.  Unless your arugula is quite young and small, rough chop the leaves.  Peel, seed and dice the cucumber and slice the fennel very thin – almost shaved.   Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss.  Add dressing and just toss just before serving.


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