Blackberry Pistachio Salad w/ Pickled Onions & Cranberry Vinaigrette

Let me preface this by saying, you need to prep for this the night prior.  It’s not a lot of prep, but good pickled onions are best once they’ve worked their magic overnight.  Sooo take me seriously when I say “Don’t just start to make this 15 minutes before you’re sitting down for dinner.”  It’s not gonna happen.  Plus, the prep really only take 5 minutes max the night prior, but it’s an important step, so don’t miss it!

I’m a sucker for a great salad.  I also really love pickled… well just about anything (minus body parts.. pig’s feet?!.. no thank you!).  Pickled onions are right up there on my favorite list.  While I’m using them for this salad recipe, they also are great on sandwiches (grilled cheese, yes!), burgers, and used as pizza toppings.  And really, once you see how easy they are, they might even become a staple in your fridge like they are in mine!

This salad is one of those really simple Spring recipes that, once you make the dressing, it’s just a matter of tossing it together.  It also is part of that sweet and salty magic that happens in almost all my favorite foods.  The saltiness of the pistachios and feta combined with the sweetness of the cranberry honey dressing and the blackberries is killer!  It’s also a different combo that not a lot of people have had.  And I know this recipe looks like there’s A LOT of work and ingredients, but it really can be thrown together in 15 so don’t fret! So grab a bowl, toss this up, and be prepared to come back for seconds!

Ingredients:

Pickled Onions (MUST make night prior):

  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ¼ white sugar
  • 1 T of salt

Simply mix vinegar with sugar and salt until they’re dissolved.  Drop in sliced onions, stir until everything is coated.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  By morning they’ll actually be almost neon purple.  These are also good in the fridge for several weeks but are best the first week.

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup of cranberry juice
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp of poppy seeds
  • 1 minced clove or garlic
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • ¼ cup of pickled onion vinegar (after onions have set overnight)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together and stir until well combined.  Easy peasy.

Salad: 

  • 16 oz of arugula/spinach blend (you can certainly use straight arugula too, I enjoy the combo though)
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shelled salted pistachios (no shell)
  • 1 – 6oz container of blackberries (this is also great with raspberries, apples, or blueberries!)
  • 1/2 cup of prepared picked red onions

Instructions:

This is the easy part, just place everything in a large bowl (or plate individually), toss to combine and serve!  Simple and delicious!

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