Arugula Salad with Red Grapes, Blueberries & Goat Cheese

This recipe post is part of my partnership with Grapes from California. I hope you enjoy it! It’s perfect for an easy summer evening.

What a whirlwind few days. I can’t believe another summer weekend is in the books. The weeks are really flying by, aren’t they?

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Dear Summer: Please slow down.

I think you guys probably already know this about me, but summer is my absolute favorite time of year. I honestly love everything about it. Ok, I can do without the mosquitoes and crazy-oppressive humidity, but everything else is what makes the season so enjoyable for me…

The sunshine. The beach. Long walks in the evening. Days that seem endless because the sun doesn’t set until 8PM. Lobster dinners. Flip flops. Watermelon. Ice cream. Splashing in the pool. The smell of the ocean.

Outdoor events. Boat rides. Smoothies. Patios with sparkling lights. Fruity cocktails with fun straws. Napping outside. Dining al fresco. Late-night talks around the fire pit. Cool evenings. Hooded sweatshirts. S’mores.

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My list could seriously go on and on and on. I just love summer that much.

One of my most favorite things about summer is spending time on our back deck with people I love. We recently hosted a dinner at our house that ended up being one of my favorite evenings of the summer so far. I actually think keeping the menu simple was key because we were able to focus on our time spent together instead of running around the kitchen.

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Part of keeping the menu uncomplicated and straight-forward was using fresh, flavorful produce that our local grocery store is just bursting with right now. Our main dish– a big salad– was incredibly delicious, healthy, and fresh, and it took me a matter of minutes to put together.

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The star ingredient was red grapes from California, which are available now through January and are always ripe and ready-to-eat. Fun fact: 99% of table grapes commercially grown in the US are grown in California, so grapes from California are truly your local grape.

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In addition to grapes, the salad also included a wonderful mix of fresh, summer ingredients, including arugula, blueberries, cucumbers, and goat cheese.

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I drizzled a raspberry vinaigrette on top (I think a strawberry vinaigrette would work well too!) to further enhance the flavors within the salad.

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While we sipped cocktails and caught up on the back deck, Mal grilled up a couple of chicken breasts to add to our salads for some additional satiety. All in all, it was outstanding– yet simple– summer meal that everyone enjoyed.

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Question of the Day

Your turn! What are 3 things you really love about summer?

21 Comments

  1. That salad looks so good! Perfect when you don’t want to do much cooking (if any!) My favorite three (keep in mind I live in New England):

    -Running outside (to burn off the s’mores I ate!)
    -Grilling! (any kind of meat and veggies – even pizza!)
    -Summer cocktails (sitting on the back deck with friends watching the sunset!)

  2. My boyfriend just read this with me and said “See, this is why we need to move to the Boston area. Summers are just awesome there! We can’t enjoy summer here (FL) when we live it all the time!”

    I love buns in my hair, bright pedicures, and more daylight.

  3. I love how summer makes me want to eat more fruits & veggies. I love that it’s lighter out longer and I want to stay awake more (that can be good and bad). I also love tank tops, flip flops, shorts and buns! I could live that way year round. Well, I almost do living in Phoenix. 🙂

  4. I LOVE Cape Cod in the summer and sitting on the beach in the early evening with a sweatshirt after an awesome day swimming with a cool drink in your hand and your toes feeling the cool sand; eating corn on the cob and steamers on the deck; sitting at the pool with my girlfriends chatting all day while the kids swim and later getting homemade red raspberry ice cream, which is famous around here and only made in July when the berries are ripening!

  5. What don’t I love about summer? I’m with you – it’s my favorite time of year! If I had to pick a top three I’d say it would be:
    -Warmer weather
    -The beach!
    -Fresh food (watermelon, zucchini, corn on the cob yumm)

  6. I love sundresses, snow cones and hot weather. I love Summertime too, which is about 80% of the year in South Texas! I guess I’m in the right place!

  7. I love summer break! (I’m a teacher and the school year is insanely busy, so the contrast is incredible!)
    I love summer vacation to the Cape.
    I love summer produce- the best in season fruits and veggies make every meal taste better!

  8. Arugula salad yuuum! I love the mild bitterness arugula has cause it goes perfectly with everything I add in the salad – turkey, tuna, olives, cucumber, zucchini, everything!

    Have a good one Tina!
    xx
    Anja

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