Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
This Summer Berry Salad is full of crisp arugula, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, roasted almonds, goat cheese, crispy calabrese, and finished with a honey balsamic vinaigrette. It's almost like a cheese board in a bowl aka my kind of salad. It is all I am craving this summer.
This kind of salad really takes me back to right after my husband and I got married. I guess it was kind of our honeymoon. We got married in Rosemary Beach, Florida so we stayed for about a week after the wedding.
We had lots of incredible dinners there. Rosemary Beach has some stellar restaurants. Not to mention it is one of my favorite vacation spots, buit is hot as hell there in June.
So every night I was craving cold crispy raw veggies. Anyone else love a good salad in the summer? And after a few nights, it seemed like every restaurant had a salad that had fruit, goat cheese, and nuts on the menu.
But I wasn’t complaining! I had one almost every evening at dinner and they were all so tasty! So I have been recreating this kind of salad at home ever since.
I wanted to share with you my go to summer salad. It combines all of the elements of a good charcuterie board in a salad. The dressing adds the perfect amount of sweetness. This one is definitely a winner.
- The perfect summer salad
- Full of fresh berries
- Loaded with goat cheese, roasted almonds, & crispy calabrese
- Dressed with a simple honey balsamic vinaigrette
- Sweet, salty, & a little acidic
- Super easy to prepare
- Calabrese: Swap for bacon or prosciutto. Prosciutto can be cooked the same way as stated in the instructions. Bacon will take longer to cook.
- Arugula: Swap this for any green. Spring mix or spinach are great options.
- Goat Cheese: I think goat cheese goes the best with this salad, but in a pinch feta is a good alternative. Be sure to buy it in a log and crumble it with a fork at.
- Fresh Berries: I typically use strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries. You can use a combination or stick with 1-2. Even fresh cherries would be delicious!
before you start . . .
- Wash & prep all of the fruits and vegetables. I typically buy the washed and ready to use arugula that comes in a plastic box. It is exactly 5 ounces so perfect for this recipe. So the only thing you should have to wash and slice are the berries.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Step 1: On a baking sheet lined with foil, place 6 pieces of calabrese.
Step 2: Bake for 10-13 minutes. The oils from the meat should be bubbling when it comes out.
Step 3: While the calabrese bakes, make the dressing. In a small jar or airtight container, add the vinegar, oil, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Shake until the dressing is emulsified.
Step 4: Once the calabrese is done, let it cool for a couple of minutes. Break it into pieces with your hands.
Step 5: In a large bowl, toss the arugula well with as much dressing as desired.
Step 6: Top the salad with the goat cheese, almonds, and berries.
Expert Tips & Recipe Notes
- Use super fresh produce. The key to a good salad is crisp fruits and vegetables. I recommend picking up the produce at most one day before making the salad.
- Store bought dressing is a great short cut. Use a good quality balsamic vinaigrette from the store to save time. I normally make my own because it is so easy and tastes better to me, but there are some good ones at the store too.
- The dressing goes a long way. The recipe includes plenty of dressing for this salad. For those who like a lot of dressing, you may use it all. Some will find it to be too much. So do not add it all once.
- Toss right before serving. The arugula will wilt quickly after dressing.
- Toss the arugula well. Toss the arugula so that the dressing completely coats it. I do not recommend drizzling the dressing on top at the end.
- Serve with berries, nuts, & cheese on top or mixed in. For presentation purposes, I like to serve the toppings on top, but you can also mix them in when you toss the arugula. The ghost cheese will almost make the dressing a little creamy.
Summer Berry Salad
- 6 pieces calabrese
- 5 ounces arugula*
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled*
- ⅓ cup chopped roasted & salted almonds
- 1 ½ - 2 cups fresh berries*
Honey Balsamic Dressing
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- On a baking sheet lined with foil, place 6 pieces of calabrese.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes. The oils from the meat should be bubbling when it comes out.
- While the calabrese bakes, make the dressing. In a small jar or airtight container, add the vinegar, oil, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Shake until the dressing is emulsified.
- Once the calabrese is done, let it cool for a couple of minutes. Break it into pieces with your hands.
- In a large bowl, toss the arugula well with as much dressing as desired.
- Top the salad with the goat cheese, almonds, and berries.