Arugula Salad, Featuring Oregon Berries

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Ingredients

2 cups arugula lettuce
1/4 cup sliced homegrown or non-GMO cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh-picked Oregon berries (blackberries)

Place the arugula in a bowl or on a plate, and top with the sliced cherry tomatoes + blackberries in an aesthetically-pleasing arrangement of your choosing.




for the Vinaigrette w/ Oregon Berries
1/2 cup home-grown, wild, or store-bought (frozen) Oregon berries. I would suggest raspberries, or a tarter variety. If using blackberries or marionberries, depending on their ripeness, definitely use the liquid (if using frozen berries). Actually, in any case—never use frozen if fresh are available. If your recipe requires a sweeter “tang” and all you have access too are under-ripe blackberries, add a drop or very small pinch of stevia extract (see stevia conversion chart). In this case I was able to use fresh berries without the need for stevia, but in many locations that sort of thing isn’t an option. My favorite Oregon Berries are wild blackberries (since I picked them myself in the wild, obvs), but I love all other varieties and also enjoy the raspberries that I learned to make into the best jam ever, via my days as apprentice under the tutorship of a certain culinary rockstar who you might run into in the hills outside Hood River, Oregon if you should be so lucky.

…back to the vinaigrette: other ingredients include…

1/4 cup hulled sesame seeds
1 red bell pepper
1/4 cup Oregon berries (red raspberries work best)
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 Tbsp dry roasted sunflower seeds (see recipe here)
1/16 tsp pink Himalayan salt, sea salt, or any or salt, to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup water

*if you really want this dressing to “gel” like dressings that contain xanthan gum, add a pinch of chia seeds to the mix before blending.



Method

Juice the lime into the blender pitcher or food processor. If using frozen Oregon berries, either drain liquid from thawing or use in place of the water required for this recipe (to give it an extra berry “kick”). Add all other ingredients for the dressing, and blend until smooth. Transfer carefully from the blender pitcher or food processor, into a device for pouring salad dressing like this one (featured in the photo below) that the Oregon Berry Commission sent me. *The Oregon Berry Commission also purchased the ingredients used in the development of this recipe, so I could share them with all of my landlocked and international friends. (I would use an exclamation point here, but all you friends and readers know how much I loathe to use it in punctuation, I think. So you’ll get it).

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Pour that tart raspberry (better than its dairy product alternative) dressing over that spicy-delicious arugula and farmer’s market or homegrown heirloom cherry tomatoes.




And that’s it. Now go forth and celebrate Oregon. You know you want to.

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