With summer almost upon us and the sun showing up a little more it means its salad season again!!! I love, love, LOVE salad season. Its healthy, quick to put together and you can pretty much add whatever you want. After all it is your salad. Thats pretty much how this Healthy Creamy Sweet and Savoury Avocado Berry Salad came about. I just kept adding things then taking things away and now it’s just perfect.
And it’s all healthy too, there is nothing in here to frighten your waistline at all. The dressing is made with Quark. Not heard of Quark? This stuff is amazing, its a German cream cheese that is basically fat free! While a little bland on its own it makes a great base for sauces and dressings. Should you have any difficulty finding Quark in your corner of the world, then try it with any fat free cream cheese. It may slightly alter the flavour but I am sure it won’t be noticeable.
The whole salad is smothered in a creamy dreamy avocado ‘pesto’. Not really a pesto in the strictest sense of the word but its still an amazing dressing. So every bite has a smooth creamy flavour to it. There is nothing too odd in this dressing, just avocado, Quark, extra virgin olive oil, some fresh basil leaves, a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. A quick blitz in your food processor and hey presto dressing made.
Apart from being super colourful, summer berries are sweet and juicy giving this salad a perfect summery pick-me-up. And who want’s to eat a boring salad when you can have it packed full of sweet strawberries, crunchy grapes, sweet blueberries and ever so slightly tart raspberries (my absolute favourite!)
To give this salad it’s savoury flavours I used cherry tomatoes, more avocado and some crunchy mange tout beans. These super crunchy beans add a lovely contrasting texture to the whole salad. I also sprinkled a little feta cheese over the top, the small bursts of saltines really set the whole thing off. How much you use is really down to personal preference.
You could add olives, cucumber, chopped nut’s or any other number of things but I have found this to be the perfect combination of flavours and textures.
So what is stopping you from giving this Healthy Creamy Sweet and Savoury Avocado Berry Salad a go? Nothing I hope because it really is just like summer in a bowl 😀
- 250 grams pasta spirals (2 and ½ cups)
- 2 large ripe avocado's
- 65 grams Quark cream cheese (1/4 cup)
- 3 tablespoons extra vigin olive oil
- 4 large fresh basil leaves + extra for garnish
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- salt & pepper to taste
- 12 mange tout beans - halved
- 125 grams red seedless grapes - halved (1/2 cup)
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 50 grams blueberries (1/3 cup)
- 12 raspberries
- 5 large strawberries - quartered
- Feta cheese to garnish
- Bring a medium sized pan of water to a rolling boil and pour in the pasta spirals. Bring the water back to the boil then lower it to a medium heat and boil for another 10 minutes.
- This will give you an l'dente pasta, if you like it a little softer cook for another few minutes.
- While your pasta is cooking, we will get the rest of the salad together.
- In a food processor add in 1 and ½ of your avocados, the Quark, extra virgin olive oil, the 4 fresh basil leaves, them lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until you have a smooth paste. This should only take a minute or two.
- Prep all your fruit and veg, wash, dry and cut everything up into halves and quarters for the strawberries and place to one side until your pasta is ready. Not forgetting to use up your remaining avocado half.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and run it under cold water for a few minutes to cool it right down. Leave it to drain for a minute.
- Get a large serving bowl out and pour in the pasta, then cover it with the 'pesto' and give it a gentle stir. Add in all your chopped fruit and veggies give another gentle mix.
- Sprinkle the top with some feta cheese and some more basil leaves which have been torn up, then serve.
2. Leave the salad out at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving so it is not so cold.