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Blackberry and Avocado Salad

There’s a new lettuce in town – it’s called Salanova! I discovered it at the farmer’s market last week. It was so pretty, I had to ask what it is called. I was told three times “my name is Frank”, “no I mean the lettuce, what is the lettuce called”? Salvanova. Just like butter lettuce, it’s irresistible.

Like sweet baby leaf butter lettuce, it is perfectly matched for this blackberry and avocado salad. It’s a heady lettuce that looks too perfect to be true and is easy to prepare – with just one cut around the roots the small leaves are separated and ready to eat. Voila. Couldn’t be easier.


This salad is a creation of my lovely aunt Heather. She is the mostly amazing cook, her husband too, what a pair! Back in 2007, her and her running group, a wonderful group of woman that have been running together for more than 20 years, put together a cookbook as a legacy to their friend Lena who was diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). During Lena’s struggles with this debilitating disease, her friends and family demonstrated their love for her by preparing and bringing by meals. The outcome was a cookbook with compilation of recipes that helped raise funding for ALS research and patient care and reminded all of us the importance of friendship, community, giving and receiving.

Serves 4

For the salad:
2 small bunches of butter lettuce or a head of ‘Salanova’ lettuce
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup toasted whole walnuts
2 cups of blackberries, rinsed and drained

For the dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil, (120 ml)
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon liquid honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined.

2. Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate. Place the avocado slices and blackberries on top and pour dressing over. Garnish with the toasted walnuts.


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