Triple-Berry Summer Salad

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Triple-Berry Summer Salad includes three types of plump berries, creamy avocado, tangy goat cheese, and crunchy almonds. This salad is unbelievable!

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

Yesterday I mentioned that Saturday morning my friends and I devoured brunch (more on that in another post!) then hit the ground running. Operation shop ’til we drop: downtown Chicago style, was in full effect.

I don’t think any of us realized we’d still be walking 5 hours later. Or at least I didn’t…otherwise I wouldn’t have worn flip flops. Ouch!

Despite my ill-advised choice of footwear, however, it ended up being a great way to spend time together while getting in a nice workout, and a fun way to see the city, to boot. I always forget how beautiful the architecture is in Chicago and after all, the best way to see a city is on foot!

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

As we wandered we came across a quaint shop called Old Town Oil, a small artisanal oil and vinegar shop in Old Town, which I knew I knew, but didn’t know how. You know? ; )

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

I soon remembered that my friend Lindsey, whom I was with, brought me a bottle of their Tuscan Herb Olive Oil when she was visiting a few years ago, which I had treasured to the very last drop – it was absurdly delish. That being said, we wasted no time diving into the shop’s other flavored and infused oils and vinegars they keep in big casks around the room with small sippers for sampling.

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

They were all terrific, but the Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar pretty much stopped me dead in my tracks.

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

Tasting like a reduced balsamic vinegar with a sweet kiss of strawberry flavor, I made sure my friends tried a sip (no seriously, did you try this?! YES, we tried it!) snatched up a bottle and used it to drizzle over a Triple-Berry Summer Salad when I got home. Three types of plump berries married with creamy avocado, tangy goat cheese, and crunchy almonds, then drizzled with the Strawberry Balsamic vinegar. This fresh, summer-inspired salad was off the CHAIN!

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

Start with those summer berries plus some other fresh ingredients. Berries are flying off the shelves at my grocery store these days as they’re in-season, inexpensive and tasting great, so I included plump blueberries, sliced strawberries, and juicy raspberries into the salad, along with herby basil, and cool avocado. Include any type of berry you want though!

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

Place chopped baby spinach onto plates then add the berries, avocado, and basil on top, and then sprinkle with toasted sliced almonds.

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

The easiest way I know how to toast almonds is to spread them on a plate and microwave in 30 second increments until they’re golden brown (these were pre-toast.) You could also do this in the oven, but it’s getting hot out there, y’all, and when I can keep the heat out of the kitchen, I’ll do it!

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

Next, crumble fresh chevre on top. I. Heart. Chevre. It’s tangy, kind of like cream cheese, but has a way cooler texture. Try it sometime! : )

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

Finish off with a drizzle of Strawberry Balsamic, or any olive oil-based salad dressing, then dig in!

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

Triple-Berry Summer Salad

Print this recipe!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
9oz baby spinach, torn
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup chopped basil
1 avocado, chopped
4oz goat cheese

Directions: 

  1. Divide baby spinach between plates then top with berries, almonds, basil and chopped avocado. Crumble goat cheese on top then dress with salad dressing. I recommend strawberry balsamic vinegar, but any olive-oil based vinaigrette would be fantastic.

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

Easy, right? Fabulously fresh, no-cook, and light yet filling from the goat cheese and avocado.

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

I thought this was perfectly satisfying on it’s own, without meat, but a grilled chicken breast marinated in some of that balsamic vinegar, or even brined –> sauteed shrimp would be divine on top. Enjoy!

 Triple-Berry Summer Salad | iowagirleats.com

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Comments

  1. This is my dream salad! I could devour it right now.

  2. perfection….

  3. This salad looks so fresh, and I can’t say no to anything with that much color :) The strawberry balsamic sounds diiii-vine!

  4. This is the perfect salad to have on the deck under twinkling lights and a glass of white wine sangria!

  5. Yum that looks really delicious! I don’t always think to put fruit in salads but I should as I really enjoy it :)

  6. Hayley 05.29.2013

    Kristin, do you have any suggestions for a different cheese to use? I am just not a fan of goat cheese (I know…the horror!) ;)

    • Mark 05.29.2013

      Feta! Blue cheese crumbles! Any of those crumbly, savory types would work, methinks.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.29.2013

      Agreed – feta or blue cheese would be great, or I think the salad would be just fine with no cheese. :)

  7. Leslie 05.29.2013

    Have you been to Allspice in the East Village? They have flavored vinegars and oils too! :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.29.2013

      I have been meaning to go there for YEARS. Hopefully this summer!

      • Tara 05.29.2013

        It really is awesome, I got an amazing apple balsamic vinegar there that was delicious!

      • Abby G 06.05.2013

        I discovered Allspice a couple months ago. Their Strawberry Balsamic is also great, but the Cinnamon Pear Balsamic is AMAZING! You have to go!

    • P Rex Coble 05.30.2013

      Old Town Oils was a primary inspiration for Alex and his wife when they started Allspice. It is a great shop. Also- if you’ve never seen Chicago by boat- well let’s just say there is a whole new perspective on Chicago’s beautiful architecture to be had.

  8. Jamie G 05.29.2013

    This is one of my favorite summer salads. The Strawberry Balsamic sounds heavenly. Yum!

  9. Stacey 05.29.2013

    Old Town Oil is one of my favorite places on earth! I’m like a kid in a candy store!! I hope you guys went to Spice House too! Also one of my favorite “foodie” stores :)

  10. Tieghan 05.29.2013

    I have been dreaming of this salad! Holy YUM and So pretty!

  11. Patricia 05.29.2013

    What is the chiffonade item on top of your salad? Basil?? I made your Blue Moon Orange Chicken tonight for dinner… big hit! Was a great combination of flavors. Thanks so much, love your site.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.29.2013

      Ahh I totally forgot to include the basil in the written recipe – thanks so much for the heads up!

  12. I’ve been in that store! What fun and what a great, gorgeous salad!

  13. Cheryl 05.29.2013

    Looks awesome! Have you checked out All Spice in the East Village? Tons (or gallons) of great olive oils and vinegars!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.30.2013

      I have been meaning to get down there for years, but always seem to get down to the East Village after they’re closed. Hoping to make it sometime this summer though!

  14. Anne [A Squared] 05.29.2013

    I love Old Town Oil! Huge fan of Oh Olive! too. Pretty much the same concept, but in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

  15. Lauren 05.29.2013

    You were in Chicago???? Ah, how did I miss you!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.29.2013

      I know! It was the shortest of short trips – Friday evening to Sunday morning. Next time for sure!!

  16. Kaaren 05.29.2013

    We need a link for ordering the vinegar. Wish I was closer to Chicago to go to this/these stores.

  17. Cristina 05.29.2013

    Really beautiful salad. I love the combinations of berries + goat cheese + avocado. Also, I’ve never tried toasting almonds in the microwave – that’s pretty clever!

  18. Linda 05.29.2013

    Wow that salad looks amazing! I’ve starting following your blog about a couple months ago. Love all the nice pictures, good recipes, stories, and the fact that you update so regularly! So awesome, thanks! :)

  19. we have a little shop like that in my hometown of stillwater here in mn. my fave is the blackberry ginger balsamic vinegar (over ice cream omg). also, thank you for the idea for dinner tomorrow!

  20. Anna 05.30.2013

    I had something very similar to this in a restaurant the other day, with some added oranges and it was delicious. I’m really happy you posted this, I love all my fresh berries and this will give me yet another way to eat them :) Yum! Thank you

  21. Lauren Williams 05.30.2013

    I just love fruit on salads!! This looks really good and I have never heard of that type of cheese so I will have to check it out! Too bad about your poor flip flip feet, it’s that time of year for breaking in new summer shoes and getting a few blisters :(

  22. Aisling 05.30.2013

    Sounds divine, I will definitely be giving this a go! Gorgeous pics too.

  23. Seriously, do you ever make a recipe that I don’t enjoy? This truly looks amazing.

    I actually visited a similar store in Newport, RI this weekend. It was so fun to try all of the different oils and vinegars! I wish they had bread in the store for dipping ;-) I tried the strawberry but it was a bit strong. The fig was amazing, and I bought a huge bottle – I think I can substitute that in this recipe!

  24. Sally 05.30.2013

    This salad looks divine! I love summer salads that incorporate fruit. And that balsamic vinegar! Might have to order some – yummmmm.

  25. Wow, I don’t think I have ever wanted salad so much. The colors are so intoxicating!

  26. I love Old Town Oil! I always stop there when I am in the city!

  27. Julie 05.30.2013

    This looks amazing! I’m definitely making this this weekend. So glad I found your site.

  28. nic. 05.30.2013

    YUM! We have a kegged oil shop like that here in Minneapolis and I’ve always wanted to go! This post will be the pusher.

  29. Jess 05.30.2013

    Old Town Oil is AMAZING!! I could drink the vinegars straight! I used to live by there and get a bottle or two whenever I go back. There is no place like that in the Quad Cities :( Their vinegars make summer salads incredible! The Basil Olive Oil is very yummy mixed with the Strawberry Vinegar!!

  30. Cat Yates 05.30.2013

    I love berry salads. They are so fresh and light in the summer. Throw in avocado? Wow. It looks amazing, as usual!

  31. This looks so delicious! I definitely need to make this for lunch!

  32. Meredith 05.30.2013

    I would love to hear about your brunch experiences in Chicago. I’m an Iowa girl transplanted to Chicagoland. I LOVE the big city and there is just something about brunch in the city you can’t beat!

  33. Theresa 05.30.2013

    Hey girl.
    I just wanted to let you know that I just made this salad, and it is delicious. I actually bought similar balsamic at our local farmer’s market in Indy last weekend.
    I wanted a creamyness to the dressing, so I changed it up a bit and used 1 tbsp almond butter mixed with the balsamic (which I had to resist simply drinking because it’s so super fab). I deleted the goat cheese for vegan friends, and used 1/2 kale and 1/2 spinach for a bit more bite. AMAZING. Thanks for the GREAT recipe! You really should try mixing the balsamic with almond butter. It hits the spot!

  34. Eleni 05.30.2013

    You should check out Vom Fass by the 42nd St. exit! Old Town Oil looks really similar.

  35. Liz N. 05.30.2013

    I am moving to Chicago in a couple of weeks and I think Old Town Oil will be one of the stores I first visit! I am totally going to make this salad once we get all unpacked. It’s summer in a bowl. Thanks for sharing! Love to hear more about your shopping and eating adventures in Chicago.

  36. Lisa 05.30.2013

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; you make the prettiest salads in the world. Perfect for this hot weather.

  37. nessa 05.30.2013

    I’ll definitely make this, just without the nuts(I’m allergic)!

  38. em@simplypresent 05.30.2013

    Your salad looks better than Panera’s and that’s saying a lot!

    Yay for sweet summertime! :)

  39. Jess 05.31.2013

    What a perfect salad for summer, Kristin. I went to a specialty olive oil and balsamic shop like this in Norfolk, and had to stop myself from sampling every last one of the at least 100 flavors they had. I totally didn’t see a strawberry balsamic vinegar though – I would have been all over that!

  40. Trisha 05.31.2013

    I could eat this alllll summer long!

  41. [...] Summer Berry Salad (Iowa Girl Eats) : I love fruit in my salads. Berries + almonds = yum! [...]

  42. Darien 05.31.2013

    Speaking of chèvre- have you tried the honey chèvre at Trader Joe’s? It’s out of this world good. Creamy, tangy, and sweet. You can really taste the honey without it being over powering or too sweet. We love it stuffed in dates and on salads especially!

  43. [...] 1. I’ve been obsessed with fruit in my salad lately (not to be confused with fruit salad, which is equally as good) and I need NEED to try this one. [...]

  44. Now that is one gorgeous salad! I’m a total sucker for anything with raspberries :)

  45. Love pairing sweet, fresh fruit with tangy goat cheese! Can’t wait to try your recipe!

  46. Sara Howe 06.01.2013

    YUM!!! This looks amazing. I just got out of bed and want it right now haha

  47. Corrin 06.01.2013

    Made it for dinner last night with ribs. Having it again tonight with grilled chicken. Yum!!!

  48. This is definitely a must-make! I love ALL berries and I really do need to incorporate more salad into my diet – my skinny jeans are becoming unbearable to wear at this point!

  49. Eve 06.03.2013

    Those pictures did it for me – off to get some ingredients right now!
    Thanks for this one.

  50. Lesley 06.03.2013

    What a perfect salad now that it’s warming up. Love the berries – perfect mix with the goat cheese. Sweet and salty, yum.

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