This Raspberry and Butter Leaf Salad drizzled with tart and tangy homemade raspberry vinaigrette is one of my favorite summer salads, a twist on the good old spinach and strawberry salad standby that I also love.
As for my homemade raspberry vinaigrette….I’ve actually been collecting a variety of raspberry vinaigrette recipes for a while now and saving them in a not-so-organized fashion all jumbled in with piles of other recipes. As I started digging through my messy recipe pile I noticed that just about every recipe for homemade raspberry vinaigrette didn’t actually use fresh raspberries but raspberry vinegar instead. Unfortunately I did not have raspberry vinegar on hand and besides, I really wanted to make homemade raspberry vinaigrette with fresh raspberries, which I happened to have tons of. I figured I had nothing to lose experimenting with my Vitamix and seeing what sort of tart and tangy raspberry vinaigrette I could concoct. I tried several versions but the one below was clearly the hands-down winner. My son happened to have a few friends over the day I was making this up and the boys all gave it a “10”, so it is absolutely kid-friendly.
The best thing about this particular salad dish is that it is incredibly versatile and can easily be dressed up or down all summer long…it fits right in as a dinner party starter, makes the perfect baby shower luncheon salad and yet still manages to be right at home at the family summer BBQ. Raspberry vinaigrette even makes a great dip for carrotts, celery, red pepper strips and fennel strips (a fun alternative to celery strips.)
Oh! and be sure to use fresh not frozen raspberries when making homemade raspberry vinaigrette. While I do use frozen raspberries a lot for smoothies, for this recipe fresh is really best.
One cup of raspberries delivers a whopping 8 grams of fiber plus calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium. Unfortunately though, conventional raspberries are considered by the Environmental Working group to be among the twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables so I do think it is worth buying organic.
Raspberry & Butter Leaf Salad with Homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette
For the Raspberry Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 pitted dates
- ¼ cup fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup flax oil (such as Barlean’s)
- “Real” salt or Himalayan salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Store in a covered container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
For the Salad
- 4 cups butter leaf lettuce
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped
1. Place lettuce, raspberries and walnuts in a large mixing bowl and very gently toss. Drizzle in the raspberry vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper to taste and gently toss to coat lettuce in vinaigrette. Serve at once.