Salad Girl Organic Blueberry Basil Dressing with fresh, organic blueberries.

Blueberries are a delectable summer treat rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C.  If you purchase extra blueberries during the peak season, you can freeze them and enjoy their juicy goodness into the fall and winter.  When shopping, choose blueberries that are dry, plump, firm, and uniform in size.  Blueberries should have a “bloom” (a soft, hazy white coating that provides waterproofing and protection from the sun).  Store your blueberries unwashed in a single layer or between layers of paper towels in a moisture-proof container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Domestic blueberries have the 11th highest pesticide load for produce according to the research of the Environmental Working Group.  The research is based on testing that is done on produce as it is typically eaten (washed, rinsed, peeled, etc…).   For more information, go to www.foodnews.org or www.whatsonmyfood.com.  Purchasing organic, local blueberries or growing your own would be the “greenest” options.  You won’t find local blueberries (or raspberries) until late July or early August, but you’ll at least be able to find them grown within the U.S.  To pick your own berries, check out http://www.pickyourown.org.  To start growing your own blueberries, check out www.organicgardening.com or www.gardenguides.com .

“Red, White, and Blueberry Salad” on page 65 of Pam Powell’s Salad Days recipe book. Photograph by Paul Markert.

Try your blueberries with some delicious, greens (local frisee, red & green leaf lettuce, and mustard greens were on hand when I was shopping yesterday — dandelion greens were still available too).  I love my organic blueberries with a mixture of greens, a mild cheddar goat cheese, some roasted almonds, and Salad Girl Organic Blueberry Basil Dressing — an 8 ounce bottle of this dressing contains the equivalent of 1 1/2 cups of fresh, organic blueberries !  Throw in some raspberries too.  You’ll love it, and aesthetically it will provide a very patriotic salad for the 4th of July!

If you have Pam Powell’s Salad Days recipe book, try the “Red, White, and Blueberry Salad” on page 65.  If you don’t have time to make the Pink Lemonade Vinaigrette the Salad Girl Organic Blueberry Basil Dressing is an excellent substitute.  You can order a copy of the Salad Days recipe book right here on the blog (click on the top header Buy “Salad Days” Recipe Book).  Have a fun, safe, salad-filled 4th of July !

Article by Sarah Baron Sullivan

Photo of blueberries and Salad Girl Organic Dressing by Sarah Baron Sullivan