Friday, June 19, 2015

Black Raspberry, Goat Cheese & Pistachio Salad

Black Raspberry, Goat Cheese & Pistachio Salad

Intentional salads . . . because not all fathers celebrate Father's Day with slabs of grilled meat.

We are in our 10th season of eating from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. You'd think I've got this down. You'd be wrong. The 2 most recent CSA programs we've participated in, here in Ohio and back in Virginia, provide us with bags of salad mix. I like that. Because I have salad mix stand by, ready for a quick rinse and tear, I'm more likely to say "dinner is X, Y, Z and a salad". Except the best intentions go awry and we don't end up actually making that salad. We just eat X, Y, and Z instead and the bag of salad sits untouched.

That was before I started making Intentional Salads. I am sure that the idea is painfully obvious to most everyone else, but if one person reading this has thought "and a salad" and NOT followed through, then my work here is done.

My spouse and I started craving salads around March. With months to go before CSA season we'd hit the salad bar whenever the craving struck. Over time, I began to notice which salad bar items we preferred on our salads. Since he is vegetarian-while-deployed my spouse has had years . . . yes, years . . . of experience building deployment salads and knows what he likes. I'm game to try new things and new combinations.

When the farm share began last month, I gathered the salad bar-type toppings that we liked the most and stored them in the fridge. The idea was that we'd set up a mini salad bar with dinner. That idea bombed. Too much hassle. Too many utensils. However, having chef salad for dinner and setting up the mini salad bar as dinner works great. I slice up some ham and set out all the jars and containers and we go at it making up our own plates.

The best way I've found to have an intentional side salad is to make the salads in a jar. I'm not going to walk you through how to do that--Cassie has a wonderful tutorial over here. I will say this--and this is the why is she even bothering to write this part--think about what combination you like, and put those toppings in the bottom of your jar. Skip the dressing and pack it full of lettuce if you're eating this at home. My spouse doesn't eat dressing so I just pack the toppings into jars, stuff them full of salad greens, close them up with these handy dandy canning jar storage caps (Amazon affiliate link) and pop them into the fridge. He takes small ones to work and we eat large ones at home.

I prefer wide mouth jars and use a pint for a single salad or a quart for a side salad. [The kids are not yet big salad eaters but they are making progress.] When it's time for dinner someone dumps the jar out into a bowl and grabs a jar of dressing and the "and a salad" is ready. When I am intentional about our salads, the bag of salad mix vanishes before the next farm share pick up. Beauty.

Here's an unintentional last minute salad made from the first black raspberry harvest, a red onion from the front flower bed, pistachios left over from making Garlic Scape Pesto, and goat cheese. A surprisingly delicious combo, so I used a head of red leaf lettuce to make more of it and take better photos.
Two heads of lettuce, spinach, beet greens, kohlrabi greens, bok choy and carrot tops?!

Black Raspberry Goat Cheese & Pistachio Salad (family size)

1 head leaf lettuce or a bag of salad greens
1 to 2 cups fresh raspberries (the black raspberries ripen first)
¼ cup red onion slivers
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
½ cup chopped shelled pistachios
sweet vinaigrette of your choice--I am using DLM Original House Dressing because I had a coupon
freshly ground pepper

Assemble as much or as little as you like of the above ingredients and serve.
Behind the scenes--stay tuned next June for the raspberry goat cheese crostini recipe--a hit with family + book club.

For more ideas for salad mix, please see my Greens (Lettuce/Salad) Recipe Collection. For more ideas using Raspberries, please see my Raspberry Recipes Collection. These are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks eating from the farm share. For more recipe ideas, please check out my Greens board on Pinterest or if you're of a FB persuasion I share bloggers' recipes on my FB page. Need help using this blog? Click here.


  1. Intentional salads are my jam and our trick to have the greens washed and ready to go so we actually make a salad.

    I love the combination of soft cheese, fruit and nuts mixed in with my greens. It's a delightful mix.

    1. Meghan,
      I find myself craving salads year round now. It's weird how my tastes have changed.
      Thanks for the tip!