Summer may be starting to wane, but what goes on your plate doesn’t have to get any less exciting. Make the most of the seasonal fruits with a less-is-more approach to cooking … or non-cooking, really, in the case of this refreshing salad!
We tend to think of the main salad ingredients themselves – the vegetables and fruits – as being the key healthy elements of a salad. But salad dressings can potentially offer plentiful benefits as well: Most dressings are a perfect opportunity to incorporate superfood powders, especially those of fruity or green varieties. In this dish, we like to use a little acai powder to boost the brain-protective antioxidant content of the salad (both acai and blueberries are natural nootropics, or in other words, superfoods that help to enhance brain health and performance). However, you can also leave out the powder without much effect on the overall flavor if you want to keep things extra simple.
Summer Nectarine, Blueberry, & Arugula Salad
An exceptionally refreshing starter salad, peppery arugula is balanced by juicy fresh fruit. The berries and nectarines may be switched up to include the most seasonal fruit offerings you can find.
6 cups (packed) baby arugula
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn, plus extra whole leaves for garnish
¼ cup slivered almonds
2 nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon acai powder (optional)
Sea salt and ground black pepper
In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, mint leaves, almonds, nectarine slices, and blueberries. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, and acai powder. Whisk together vigorously until dressing has emulsified, and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, toss with the dressing, and garnish with extra mint leaves.