Served with a drizzle of fragrant basil & mint dressing, this Summer Berry Salad is bursting with flavours and goodness and makes a wholesome lunch or light dinner.
Served with a drizzle of fragrant basil & mint dressing, this Summer Berry Salad is bursting with flavours and goodness and makes a wholesome lunch or light dinner. Juicy strawberries and sweet blackberries are the perfect matches for roasted asparagus, lentils, avocado and feta. You can skip the feta for a vegan version.
Last week I visited Hugh Lowe Farms, a Kent producer that has been growing UK berries for the past 125 years. The family business specialises in premium hand-harvested strawberries, blackberries and raspberries and is a proud member of Berry Gardens. You can read all about my Farm To Fork to Kent visit here.
For this recipe, I chose Jubilee Selections British-grown strawberries reknown for their exceptional quality, perfect heart shape and naturally sweet and aromatic flavours. I also used Driscoll’s Victoria Sweet Blackberries prized not only for their natural sweetness but also for their unrivalled taste and plumpness.
Both Jubilee Selections Strawberries and Driscoll’s Victoria Sweet Blackberries are perfect for snacks, but also an exquisite refreshing note to savoury dishes to which they lend their natural sweetness. Delightful, they brighten up any dish, and here give this salad a gorgeous and colourful Summer glow.
Strawberries and blackberries are not only good for our tastebuds but also good for our health. Nutrient powerhouses, they are rich in polyphenols, whose antioxydant properties help prevent degenerative diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancers.
In addition, blackberries owe their deep gorgeous colour to anthocyanins (essential to cardiovascular health and blood flow) while strawberries are high in Vitamin C, lycopene and beta carotene.
To enjoy the full nutritional goodness of berries, it is best to consume them in season when they have been picked locally at peak ripeness.
Look out for Jubilee Selections Strawberries from May to the end of September and Driscoll’s Victoria Sweet Blackberries from May to October. They can be found in the premium sections of Britain’s major supermarkets.
Disclaimer: This recipe is sponsored by Berry Gardens, Jubilee Selections and Sweet Blackberries. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Summer Berry Salad [vegetarian] [gluten free]
Disclaimer: the equipment list above includes affiliate links to products I use and like.
- 100 g dry puy lentils (or 200g cooked puy lentils [7 oz])
- 250 g asparagus
- olive oil
- 12 Jubilee Selections strawberries
- 12 Driscoll’s Sweet Blackberries
- 2 handfuls rocket
- 2 ripe avocadoes
- 100 g feta cheese
- 2 small handfuls of almonds
BASIL & MINT DRESSING:
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 30 g basil
- leaves from 2 mint sprigs
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 heaped tsp of Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp of agave syrup or maple syrup to taste
- salt & pepper
- If cooking the lentils, heat a small saucepan with water. Add lentils when water is boiling, and cook for 10 mins or so (lentils shoudl be cooked but still have a bite). Drain and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / Fan 180°C / Gas 6. Place the asparagus on a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 10-15 mins until brown and soft (roasting time will depend on the size of the asparagus).
- In the meantime, to make the dressing whizz together oil, basil, mint and garlic in a blender. (alternatively, you can chop the herbs and garlic by hand and mix in the oil).
- Transfer to a bowl. Whisk in Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Season to taste with agave syrup (or maple syrup) and salt and pepper.
- To serve, share lentils between four plates. Add to each plate some asparagus, 3 sliced strawberries, 3 blackberries, 1/2 a sliced avocado, crumbled feta and some almonds. Drizzle some Basil & Mint Dressing on top. Serve straight away.
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