Blackberry and Roasted Fennel Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing

blackberry saladBlackberry and Roasted Fennel Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing

 

Happy New Year! I’m back to “work” after taking a short holiday reprieve. It wasn’t planned – in fact, I had a few recipes up my sleeve for Christmas – but once my family arrived it was just so nice to kick back and not think about anything but presents and what we’re going to eat next. And like always, we overate and overindulged – heavenly!

For Christmas dinner I made this Roasted Double Rack of Pork with Morel Mushroom Pan Sauce. It was very easy make and was a big hit. The pork isn’t too expensive compared to other cuts which balanced out the hefty price tag of the morels. Probably not something I’d make every day but a nice holiday or dinner party choice.

After all that indulgence, it’s time to get back into some healthier eating! I’m really into all things blackberry right now (they’re on sale everywhere – at least in my area – so I’ve been stocking up). I love combining the sweet, tart blackberry with more savory flavors; they’re a great pairing to pork and are delicious on a cheese plate. I’ve also been adding them to granola and yogurt in the morning for a healthy blackberry breakfast!

This blackberry salad packs a lot of flavor and is a fabulous way to eat healthier. If you haven’t tried fennel before this is a great introduction. Roasting it brings out a sweetness and mellows it a bit, making it a nice contrast to the blackberry. I like to roast the fennel and make the dressing in advance, then all I have to to is assemble it and mix in the blackberry and blue cheese. This is one of those salads has all the components I love: it’s healthy yet filling, yet it’s gourmet enough that I feel like I’m spoiling myself.

Wishing everyone their best year yet for 2012! Cheers!