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Fresh Berry and Cheese Salad

Salad is one of those wonderful dishes that can either be a meal all by itself, or it can be the perfect compliment to another main dish. However, one of the problems with salad is that after a while one salad begins to taste pretty much like any other salad. If you are in the mood for a salad, but don't want the same old fare, then you should try this fabulous fresh berry and cheese salad. This recipe will take all of 10 minutes (if that) to prepare, and is a nice change from your regular salad choices.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups mixed greens
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped toasted almonds
  • 8 ounces of cheese crumbled, striped, or wedged (Gouda, provolone, mozzarella, cheddar, hvarti, etc.)
  • 1/3 cup raspberry vinaigrette
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Arrange greens. Begin making your fresh berry and cheese salad by arranging your greens in a large salad bowl. Any kind of greens will work for this recipe so feel free to experiment a little. Keep in mind though that a spring mix salad or a spinach salad will provide a nice color contrast for your berries and cheese. If you like, you can also arrange the greens in 4 individual bowls instead of 1 large salad bowl. It is simply a matter of personal preference or serving style.
  2. Add berries. Once you have your greens arranged, begin adding your berries. While this recipe calls for strawberries and raspberries, it also tastes fantastic using blackberries, blueberries, and just about any other berry that you may wish to use. Add your berries to the greens, and then toss the items just enough mix everything together.
  3. Add cheese and almonds. Choose the type of cheese you wish to have in the salad, and then begin adding it. If you are using a cheese that doesn't crumble well (such as Gouda or provolone) then cut the cheese into small strips or wedges. Either will work, and is strictly a personal choice as to what you think will look better. Once you have added the cheese, sprinkle the salad with some chopped toasted almonds. Lightly toss your salad once or twice to get everything mixed together.
  4. Sprinkle vinaigrette. After mixing together all the ingredients for your salad, sprinkle or drizzle your vinaigrette over the top. Only use a little bit of dressing though, since you don't want to overpower the taste of the berries and cheese in the salad.
  5. Serve. Serve the salad as either a main dish, or as a side dish to compliment another "light" tasting meal (such as fish or poultry).

This recipe, as described here, will serve four people. To increase the number of servings, simply increase the amount of your ingredients. A good rough estimate would be to increase your greens by about 1 cup, while the berries should be increased by about 1/4 cup. Add the other ingredients to your specific taste.

 

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