This post is a paid partnership with Valley Select Foods. All views and opinions expressed are my own.
Berries and apricots must be among my favourite summers fruits, but never before have I thought to combine them! Inspiration hit recently while at the farmer's market, when I saw cheese and nectarines side by side. When it comes to salads, I love mixing sweet and savoury, whether that's mushrooms and pears, or in this case, apricots, Valley Select blueberries, spinach, arugula and vegan cheese. This Easy Apricot Blueberry Salad is the perfect combination of tart and creamy, of sweet and savoury.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants and vitamins, and apricots have surprisingly high levels of iron for a fruit. When combined with nutrient-packed spinach and bitter arugula, this salad is not only delicious but really good for you. You can eat it as two side dishes, or as a main course if you eat it all yourself! If you do this, I recommend adding some form of protein (beans, tempeh, more nuts) to make it extra filling.
The Recipe: Easy Apricot Blueberry Salad
This salad is absolutely delicious and surprisingly simple to make. It takes 25 minutes to make in total, so it's the ideal side dish to make if you've got friends to impress, as it looks fancy! Searing the apricots is totally optional, so if you're short on time you can easily skip this step. My preference is always to eat the apricots raw anyway!
Regarding cheese, I recommend that you use a really good quality, mild plant-based cheese. Ideally one that's cashew or coconut-based, as these have a lovely texture. Avoid using a strong-tasting cheese as this doesn't compliment the apricots and berries. The flavours in this salad are delicately balanced, and using a strong cheese can throw off the overall flavour.
Easy Apricot Blueberry Salad (vegan & gluten-free)
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt & black pepper to taste
- ½ cup walnut halves or pieces
- 1 very tightly packed cup mixed spinach and arugula (rocket)
- ⅔ cup fresh blueberries
- 4 small apricots
- ⅓ cup your favourite mild vegan cheese
- Add all dressing ingredients to a mason jar with a lid and shake vigorously for 20
seconds to combine. Set aside.
- Toast the walnuts in a small frying pan on a medium low heat for about 5-10 minutes stirring regularly, until they turn golden. Remove from the heat.
- Divide the spinach and arugula leaves between two salad plates or bowls. Scatter the blueberries over them.
- Remove the stones from the apricots and quarter them. Scatter them over the leaves and blueberries, followed finally by the walnut pieces. If using vegan cheese, you’re welcome to crumble it on top of the salad here.
- If you’re feeling particularly adventurous and want to make the salad fancier, you can cut the apricots in half and sear them in a hot, lightly oiled skillet or frying pan for 1-2 minutes on each side. This is completely optional.
- Finally, drizzle the dressing over the salad (be sparing with it – a little goes a long way and you will likely have some leftover), and enjoy!