Blackberry Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts is deliciously satisfying and is cool, creamy, crunchy and refreshing all at the same time. Look for ripe, seasonal blackberries at your local Farmer’s Market or grocery store. With a scattering of leftover cooked grains, some goat cheese and radish slices plus a super juicy lemon vinaigrette, this salad combination is a big hit in both summer and fall.
Blackberry Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts
This is just a fact, but please, let me explain.
Blackberries are the star of the show here…the big, juicy, ripe kind.
This salad calls for my very favorite lettuce (Butter) followed by toasted hazelnuts (also buttery) plus a whole bunch of other luscious ingredients:
- Soft and creamy goat cheese
- Thinly sliced radishes for a peppery little kick
- Wheatberries or other leftover grains give this salad a chewy, substantial side note
- Fresh herbs – Italian parsley and fragrant mint are favorites
- A bright and flavorful citrus vinaigrette rounds it all out, like a cherry on top
I was at the Farmer’s Market the other day, struggling with an armful of yellow and green patty pan squash, cherry tomatoes and the worlds most perfect Little Gem lettuces.
It was then that I spotted the dark, mysterious-looking blackberries sitting on a rickety table with a crumpled yellow tablecloth next to a small, hand-lettered sign.
They had me at “picked today.”
These berries were so fat and round and juicy that only a few could fit into each small white container.
My head was spinning with possibilities.
Sure, I could make a cobbler or pie or just eat them with my morning toast, but these blackberries deserved more.
See, a proper blackberry is SO plump and sweet and amazingly wonderful you don’t even care if the seeds stick to your teeth 🙂
Tips for Making Blackberry Salad with Roasted Hazelnuts
- Ripe blackberries are totally worth seeking out.
- Your life will never be the same after you’ve had a good one.
- Check for ripeness by their deep black color and plump, full feel.
- Buy in season and make sure none are smashed in the container. This is bad as they’ll mold faster.
- Look for firmness!
- I’m sure they’ll let you taste one if you ask nicely 🙂
Serving Ideas for this Recipe
- After all that fuss about how great blackberries are, you could totally use raspberries, strawberries or even fresh figs in this salad instead.
- Don’t have time to cook grains for this salad? Use leftover brown rice or other cooked grains you have on hand. We like easy.
- I love the soft crunch of butter lettuce, but other small, leafy spring greens will work too.
- Hazelnuts–the toasted variety– add a certain sweetness and can stand up to the strong flavors of goat cheese, radish and blackberry.
- I feel strongly that fresh parsley is a requirement in this recipe, but the mint is not –though it’s refreshing, pretty, and just nice to have on the plate if you can.
TIPS FOR PREPPING THIS SALAD:
If you don’t have any leftover grains on hand, take 30 minutes and cook some wheatberries–it’s super easy.
Think of this time as an investment in your next meal, like for example this super delicious Roasted Grape Hazelnut Breakfast Bowl.
Whisk together a simple lemon vinaigrette–nothing more than extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, honey and some seasoning.
The rest is just assembling, and that’s the fun part.
Could you serve sliced chicken with this salad? The answer is YES.
How to Serve Blackberry Salad with Roasted Hazelnuts
You can plate the salad individually– a nice option that can be done ahead
Everything looks great on a big platter too and looks pretty on the table.
Don’t make this salad more than an hour ahead of serving or it will start to look sad. Keep it cool in the fridge, serve the dressing on the side.
Also, no one in their right mind would ever turn down this garlic bread.
More Recipes to Try:
Blackberry Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts
- 1 1/2 cups Grains, cooked
- 4 cups Lettuce, Red Butterleaf
- 1/2 cup Hazelnuts, dry roasted, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Blackberries, organic if possible
- 1/4 cup Radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Italian Parsley (aka flat leaf parsley)
- 1/4 cup Mint leaves, fresh
- 1/2 cup Goat Cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 tsp Flaky sea salt and ground pepper
- FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons champagne or rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- flake salt and lemon pepper
- COOKED WHEATBERRIES
- 1 cup wheatberries, dried
- 3 cups water
- COOK THE WHEATBERRIES
- Place the dried and rinsed wheatberries in a medium saucepan with the water. Bring the water to a boil and cover and reduce the heat to medium, allowing the grains to cook at a simmer until all the water is absorbed, 20-30 minutes. It's okay to add a bit more water if needed. You want a chewy consistency. Drain any excess water, and let the grains cool before assembling the salad. Grains can be made ahead by 3 days and stored in the refridgerator.
- MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE
- Put all the ingredients in a small jar with a lid and shake until combined. Alternatively, you can place the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until combined.
- ASSEMBLE THE SALAD
- Lay the butter lettuce on the platter or plates
- Divide the grains on the plates or scatter on top of the butter lettuce on the platter
- Add or divide the hazelnuts, blackberries, radish, parsley, mint and goat cheese
- Season with the flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Serve the lemon vinaigrette alongside
- Use 1 1/2 cups of any leftover grains you might have on hand, even rice!
- Farro, bulgur wheat or spelt berries work well instead of wheat berries.
- For gluten free, try brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa or millet.
- If you can't find red butterleaf lettuce, regular butter lettuce is a good substitute
- For the hazelnuts, chop them roughly with a sharp knife to break them down a bit. Or, place a clean kitchen towel over the top and lightly pound the hazelnuts with a kitchen mallet or the bottom of a sturdy glass jar (like a Ball jar.) You want uneven sizes and crumbles.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible