This weekend we were entertaining guests and I wanted to have some lunch options that weren’t dependent on sliced meats or grill meats. I was fixated on summer salads- light, refreshing, with a surprise burst of fruit to boot. The Blueberry Cucumber Salad was a hit!
Blueberries always have a reserved spot in our refrigerator shelf because, in addition to their sweet, delectable flavor and visual appeal, they are jam-packed with good nutrition too! Virtually fat free, they’re a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C and an excellent source of manganese. And, since the USDA claims we should be eating 2 cups of fruit per day, blueberries help make that an easy goal since there are myriad ways to eat them.
Whether they’re mixed in yogurt, baked into blueberry pancakes, or blended blueberry smoothies they’re very versatile. My personal fave is my mom’s Blueberry Brunch Cake.
Since it’s officially summertime, it’s fun to try to enjoy the harvest of fresh fruits and veggies available from your garden (or local farm). And, since I’ve got some cucumbers and cilantro in my garden, I won’t have to travel past my back yard for most of the ingredients. It can’t get any easier than that.
When working with blueberries, here are some helpful tips:
- Fresh blueberries are available year-round. You can buy North American blueberries from April-October and South American Blueberries from November-March.
- Frozen, can or dried blueberries are never out of season.
- Always rinse your berries before use.
- Color does matter. Reddish berries aren’t ripe but, can be used in cooking.
- Store blueberries in the fridge in their original pack or a covered bowl or storage container. Blueberries should keep their freshness for up to 10 days.
- If you freeze your blueberries, make sure your berries are unwashed and completely dry. Discard all bruised or shriveled berries. Place the berries (still in their original pack) in a resealable bag. The berries will freeze individually and you can remove and use the portion you need.
So, get inspired by all the fresh fruit that’s available this summer, especially your blueberries.
Just remember, they’re as convenient in baked goods, salads, smoothies, and sauces as they are when you simply rinse and eat- no peeling, pitting or slicing required! For an extra refreshing treat, freeze them.
- 1 cucumber
- 2 cups fresh (organic) blueberries
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup fresh, crumbled feta cheese
- Cut the cucumber in half, lengthwise. With the tip of a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Cut into thin slices.
- In a large bowl, toss cucumber, blueberries, scallions.
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper.
- Pour liquid mixture over cucumbers and toss to combine.
- Sprinkle feta on top and gentle toss again.
- Refrigerate prior to serving.