It’s getting hot here in DC, and that means I want little to do with my kitchen. Well, I want to be in my kitchen just long enough to sear some salmon, but after that, I’m outta there. Seriously, when it’s 90 degrees outside, the last thing I want to do is sweat it out over the stove or heat up my kitchen roasting veggies, and that’s where my Summer Salmon Salad with Wild Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette comes in. It’s refreshing, packed with summer produce, and super satisfying.
I love partnering with the folks at Wild Blueberries to develop recipes because Wild Blueberries are so easy to incorporate into all types of meals. From stuffing to gazpacho to all things breakfast, I’ve done it.
Summer is THE time for salads and you won’t see any boring salads coming out of my kitchen! Salads are a great way to squeeze greens, veggies, and other nutrient-packed foods into your day, but so many of my clients turn them into “diet food” that they dread eating (think fat free dressing, ugh). I want to help you eat your salad and enjoy it, too!
Here’s how I create satisfying, nourishing salads that I actually crave:
Think Beyond Lettuce
Lettuce is where most people start when building a salad, but tossing some lettuce in a bowl with dressing can get boring really fast. Try mixing up your greens or using several different types into a salad for added texture and flavor. Crunchy romaine lettuce paired with hearty kale or dark leafy greens and spinach paired with creamy bibb lettuce are some of my favorite salad bases (I also love adding a head of chopped endive into any salad!) After the greens layer, start piling on the veggies! Adding ingredients other than just lettuce makes salads interesting, and veggies add volume to keep you satisfied. Mixing fresh herbs in with your lettuce adds tons of flavor, too. This salad uses summery basil and dill for a fresh flavor boost.
Add Some Crunch
Texture is a key component to making a salad enjoyable. You’ll probably never enjoy eating a bowl of wilted spinach and soggy tomatoes, and you don’t need to! Crunchy veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds mix things up to keep each forkful interesting. This salad has sliced cucumbers, radishes, and sugar snap peas for extra crunch! Try using whatever is in season to keep the costs down and the flavor up!
Pack it with Protein
Switching up the greens and adding crunchy veggies keeps your salad interesting, but topping it with protein is what makes a salad stick to your ribs so you can enjoy it as a meal without getting hungry an hour later. Seared salmon is one of my favorite protein-packed salad toppings, but canned salmon, chickpeas, black beans, and tempeh top my list too!
Get Dressed Up
Last, but not least, is the dressing. Mixing your salad up with a flavorful dressing makes all the difference for a satisfying meal. In the summer I always crave fresh and fruity dressings, and that’s where this Wild Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette comes into play. The tangy, fruity vinaigrette I made for this salad is perfect for summery salads and packs an antioxidant punch as well.
Wild Blueberries have more than twice the antioxidant capacity of regular blueberries, giving you more of what you need to fight free radicals and prevent chronic disease. Wild Blueberries are particularly high in anthocyanins, a flavanoid that has potent antioxidant activity. In addition to providing antioxidant benefits, anthocyanins give Wild Blueberries their rich hue, providing this vinaigrette’s gorgeous purple color.
Check out the full recipe below and please, never settle for a boring summer salad again!
Summer Salmon Salad with Wild Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2 4-ounce salmon filets
- 4 tbsp olive oil plus extra for searing
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup Wild Blueberries, thawed plus extra for serving
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 4 cups mixed greens or lettuces of choice
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar snap peas, sliced
- 1/4 cup radishes, sliced
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh dill
- salt & pepper
Heat a quick drizzle of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the salmon filets with salt and pepper and place them in the skillet, cooking 3-4 minutes on each side, until desired doneness is reached. Remove from skillet and reserve.
Meanwhile, place the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Wild Blueberries, dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth and reserve.
Divide the greens, cucumber, sugar snap peas, radishes, avocado, basil, and dill between two bowls or plates. Top with the salmon filets and extra Wild Blueberries, then drizzle with the vinaigrette. You'll have extra vinaigrette - store it in the fridge and reserve it for another salad!