Blackberry Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette

Blackberry Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette

You won’t see me using my iPhone to take pictures in restaurants. I am a home-cooking blogger through and through.

When I do dine out, I just want to focus on the company and the food and not how to document the meal.

Also, most of the time restaurant lighting isn’t great for photos, or at least ones that I would feel comfortable sharing. 

But I do make exceptions.

Blackberry Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette

There’s a folder of photos on my phone with select restaurant shots.

I might take a quick, discreet snapshot of a plate of food that that I find inspiring—a dish that I want to take to my kitchen to put my on spin on it. 

I was reminiscing through photos from a year ago when we took a trip to southern California. It was an adventure with a little something for my son, my husband and me. 

Of course it involved Legos, architecture & design and food.

Blackberry Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette

Since I am an interior designer married to an architect, I always say that we are great vacation partners because we want to see the same things. 

Fortunately, our five-year-old has adapted to our travel style.

We split the West coast vacation between Legoland and Los Angeles. 

It was just the right mix of activities for our family. 

After our exhausting first day with travel and an afternoon spent at the theme park, we went out for pizza.

I had a mixed greens salad with strawberries, blueberries and candied nuts. The salad was so good that I snapped a grainy photo of it.

Blackberry Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette

How To Make This Blackberry Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette

Now that we are in berry season once again, I took some inspiration from that salad and made a blackberry salad with basil pesto vinaigrette.

I debated the greens. Peppery arugula or spinach? I ended up using a mix of both. 

I halved the blackberries, so I would have more of them in the salad. Also, some of their juices ended up in the greens. It was unplanned and really good.

For other mix-ins, I included red onions and walnuts. Crumbled feta gave the salad some salty bite.

The vinaigrette might have been my favorite part. It was just a mixture of pesto, lemon juice and olive oil. I loved how that strong herby flavor paired with the berries.


Blackberry Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette

Blackberry Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


For salad
5 ounces baby spinach and arugula mix
6 ounces blackberries, halved
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons torn basil leaves
1 tablespoon minced chives

For vinaigrette
2 tablespoons basil pesto
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


For the salad, toss together the baby spinach & arugula, blackberries, onions, feta, walnuts basil leaves and chives.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the pesto, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad before serving.


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