This delicious summer raspberry salad is tangy and sweet with crunchy pecans and creamy goat cheese. A perfect summer salad!
With fresh, ripe raspberries, this tasty summer raspberry salad is tangy and sweet — in addition to crunchy and creamy, thanks to the pecans and goat cheese.
Although it's incredibly quick and simple to make, you wouldn't guess it since the raspberry salad is so beautiful in presentation. It's a perfect salad for for any type of gathering — formal or casual. It also pairs well with a simple lunch or dinner.
It's a versatile salad, too. You can customize most of the ingredients to your preferences. Instead of pecans, you could use walnuts (more traditional for this salad). Or, you could replace the goat cheese with feta cheese — or skip cheese altogether. There are so many ways to make this salad your own.
A Little Background on the Salad...
There are many variations of raspberry salad out there, but it seems that the most common one calls for spinach as a base and walnuts as the nut. Unfortunately, we don't know much about the history of raspberry salad, or else we'd share some of that with you.
Our recipe is an adaption of my mom's recipe, which she got the from the Byerly's cookbook a while back (early 90s). Byerly's, now known as Lunds & Byerly's, is a specialty grocer in the Minneapolis area, which also opened a few local restaurants. The Byerly's recipe, called Spinach and Boston Lettuce Salad, calls for a mix of spinach and Boston lettuce. In addition, it uses toasted walnuts and doesn't include any cheese. A highlight of the Byerly's recipe is their raspberry salad dressing, which is made with raspberry vinegar, walnut oil, a little sugar, and salt and pepper.
Our adapted recipe is different than the Byerly's recipe since we prefer pecans over walnuts (but you can use whatever you prefer!), and we love cheese in our salads — and goat cheese works really well in this recipe. We like using a mix of spinach and another type of lettuce. So, we chose one that is sold at most stores and is one of our favorites — 50/50 baby spinach and spring mix.
Although we love the Byerly's raspberry dressing, we did make several changes to it. Since we could not find any raspberry vinegar at local grocers, we replaced it with raspberry red wine vinegar. Obviously, red wine vinegar is different from raspberry vinegar, but it still works well (in our opinion anyway). Additionally, we replaced the walnut oil with extra-virgin olive oil since that is all we had around the house, but you could also consider avocado oil, pecan oil, or another neutral oil.
- 50/50 blend of baby spinach and spring mix: This 50/50 mix is available at most grocers. This is one of our favorite salad mixes and it works well in this salad. If you prefer, you could use all spinach or another lettuce of your choice. Or, you could do as the Byerly's recipe, and use a mix of spinach and Boston lettuce.
- Fresh, organic raspberries: It's important to buy organic raspberries since they're part of the "dirty dozen," which are some of the most pesticide-contaminated foods.
- Roasted, salted pecan halves: We love using pecans in this recipe since they're a little sweeter than walnuts. But, walnuts are just as good! I've seen other people use sunflower seeds, almonds and even pine nuts in raspberry salads. As long as the nuts are toasted and salted!
- Crumbled goat cheese: We love goat cheese in the salad, and it's easiest to use crumbled goat cheese. As mentioned earlier, you could use feta instead of goat cheese or no cheese at all.
- Raspberry vinegar or raspberry red wine vinegar: Most salad dressings use one part vinegar or acid and three parts oil. We love the taste of raspberry vinegar or raspberry red wine vinegar in this salad. But, if you can't get or prefer not to use, you could substitute red wine vinegar or even lemon juice.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: It's ideal to use a neutral oil in the dressing. We use extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil since that is all we have around the house. But, if you're adding nuts to your raspberry salad, you could use a similar nut oil like pecan oil or walnut oil (like the Byerly's recipe) for the dressing.
- Sweetener: We prefer to sweeten the dressing since the salad is a little tangy. We sweeten with powdered Swerve Sweetener, but you could use another sweetener of choice or regular sugar.
- Salt and pepper: Just a little salt and pepper are used to season the salad dressing!
How to Make
STEP 1: In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, raspberry vinegar, sweetener and salt and pepper.
STEP 2: In a large serving bowl, toss spring mix with salad dressing until leaves are well coated. Finish the salad by topping the salad with the raspberries, pecans and crumbled cheese.
If you try this recipe, we would love to hear your feedback! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag @lowcarbsimplified on your photo of this recipe on Instagram or Facebook. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Raspberry Salad with Goat Cheese & Pecans
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or other neutral oil like avocado oil or even a nut oil
- 1 heaping teaspoon raspberry vinegar or raspberry red wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar or even lemon juice)
- ½ tablespoon Powdered Swerve Sweetener (or regular sugar or another sweetener of choice); if you prefer a sweeter dressing then increase to 1 tablespoon
- 3 ounces 50/50 baby spinach and spring mix blend or other preferred lettuce
- ⅓ cup organic raspberries, rinsed and dried (approximately 2 ounces)
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
- ¼ cup halved pecans salted and roasted
- Salt and pepper to season
- Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, mix olive oil (or other oil of preference), a heaping teaspoon of raspberry vinegar (or raspberry red wine vinegar or simple red wine vinegar if need be) and sweetener. Season with salt and pepper and stir well to combine.
- Finish the salad: In a large serving bowl, toss the 50/50 baby spinach and spring mix with the salad dressing until leaves are well coated. Top the salad with the raspberries, pecans and crumbled cheese. Serve immediately.