San Francisco Summer Arugula Salad with Blackberries, Avocado, and Cucumber
Source: Linda Shiue, MD, Spicebox Kitchen
While San Francisco is definitely urban, even gritty, it also has pockets of nature everywhere you go. My neighborhood is bordered on one end by a park filled with geese, herons, ducks, egrets, and other wildfowl. In the other direction, there are two coyotes who make the big, dusty hill their home. And even on the streets, I sometimes see raccoons, possums, and skunks confidently walking up the sidewalk of the steep hill we live on, like they own it. Best yet, in July and August, wild blackberries spring up wherever there is a patch of dirt, there for the foraging—and they inspired this salad. Peppery arugula contrasts nicely with these sweet and tart berries while cucumbers bring in some juiciness, and creamy avocado ties it all together for a light and refreshing dish.
1 medium-size cucumber
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
1 ripe avocado
6 ounces arugula
1½ cups ripe blackberries
Fine kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil (Persian lime—or Meyer lemon–infused olive oil really make the dressing pop, but if you can’t find these, just use the grassiest-tasting extra-virgin olive oil you can get)
Peel and slice cucumber into thin disks (or half-moons, if very large).
Chiffonade mint leaves. To do this, stack leaves into one pile, then roll tightly from stem to tip. Cut across this roll of leaves into thin strips, then fluff into ribbons.
Peel, pit, and cut avocado into thin, pretty slices.
To assemble salad:
Get a pretty platter and scatter arugula over it.
Sprinkle mint over arugula.
Place cucumbers evenly over greens.
Arrange avocado slices on top.
Top with blackberries.
Garnish with a pinch of salt and pepper and a light drizzle of olive oil
Excerpted from Spicebox Kitchen: Eat Well and Be Healthy with Globally Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes by Linda Shiue, MD. Copyright © 2021. Available from Hachette Go, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Photography by Michelle K. Min.