This 5-ingredient salad is ready in just a mere minute. Nutritious and satisfying, it contains everything you need for a full meal: a fabulous combination of sweet, tangy, and salty flavors as well as different textures — it’s justified to call it fantastic!
Mixed salad greens make a base for this flavorful salad. The juicy sweetness of blueberries balances out the sharpness and saltiness of the feta. Add walnuts for extra crunch and more nutrients — nuts also make the salad even more satisfying. Serve with your favorite salad dressing, or with good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, like in the recipe.
Tips for making the Fantastic Feta Blueberry Salad
The secret of this salad lies in the combination of sweet and salty flavors. Naturally sweet and juicy blueberries accompany salty feta in the best possible way.
The better-quality ingredients you use, the better salad you’ll naturally achieve. Real feta and superb extra-virgin olive oil are the key ingredients here — plus naturally fresh, plump, and juicy blueberries. Go for organic if you can, as the regular ones might contain pesticides or other nasty stuff. In the summer, I’ll use wild blueberries straight from the Finnish forest, but when the wild blueberries are not in season, I’ll buy organic and farm-raised ones.
There is a huge difference in blueberries: the wild ones that grow here in the Finnish forest are somewhat different from the farmed ones that grow, for example, in the US. Also, the wild US blueberries are different from the Finnish ones. They are actually different species.
The Finnish wild blueberries (which are, in fact, bilberries) have reddish-blue hue all over — also inside. That means that they contain much more phytonutrients than their pale, cultivated cousins or American blueberries. They stain your hands and your mouth when you handle them and eat them – not mentioning the stains in your clothes in case you are unlucky and drop some blueberries or their juice to your clothes! Below is a photo of my dad cleaning blueberries that my mom has picked. My parents pick blueberries every fall and freeze them for the winter. You see that his hands are purple all over:
In case you cannot get good-quality fresh blueberries (whichever variety is familiar to you), you can use frozen blueberries. Be sure to add them frozen to the salad and serve the salad immediately after preparing, so before the blueberries begin to thaw. I can imagine how wonderful summer meal this Fantastic Feta Blueberry Salad makes on a hot summer day — especially when you use frozen blueberries.
It’s important to serve the salad immediately after preparing it, no matter if you use fresh blueberries or frozen blueberries. Anyway, throwing the salad together takes just a mere minute, so there is even no need to prepare it beforehand.
You can use readily cubed feta for even easier preparation. Well, I haven’t found cubed organic feta from the store yet, so I prefer to buy a brick of organic feta cheese and cube it myself.
You can adjust the amount of mixed salad greens to your taste. Besides, different mixes have different volumes for the same weight, so it’s better to eyeball the right amount rather than use a scale.
A full meal cannot get easier than this! Just arrange all ingredients on a serving plate and dig in! So, let’s see how to prepare this superb salad:
Place 8 oz = 230 g (or your preferred amount) mixed salad greens on a large serving plate or bowl.
Add 7 oz = 200 g cubed feta.
Add 1/2 cup = 120 ml blueberries…
…and 1/2 cup = 120 ml walnuts.
Drizzle 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or your preferred salad dressing) on top.
And you are done! It was quick and easy, wasn’t it? Serve immediately.
How I came up with the Fantastic Feta Blueberry Salad recipe
This recipe is actually modified from my upcoming Finnish keto book. Yes, the one I finished last week and which is coming out in August. I came up with this recipe at the beginning of the year, when I was thinking of light meals for the book.
I had plenty of feta left after developing a keto version of feta spinach pie and thought I use the feta for a salad recipe for the book. But this time, I wanted to make the feta salad a bit more special. Since I also had some leftover (cultivated and store-bought) blueberries in my fridge, I decided to try what happens if I combine feta with blueberries. At least the idea sounded marvelous: salty feta with sweet, juice-bursting blueberries. Indeed, the combo tasted fabulous, so I thought they make perfect ingredients to my special feta salad.
As a base for the salad, I decided to use a ready bag of mixed salad greens. Though the greens, feta, and blueberries would have already made a great salad, there was still room for two more ingredients to fill the quota of 5 ingredients.
I anticipated that if I drizzled some nice extra-virgin olive oil on the salad, there would be no need for separate salad dressing. In any case, I very seldom use salad dressings nowadays — I use only good-quality extra-virgin olive oil (either Greek or Italian) in my salads.
Now I had four ingredients — there was still room for one. For some reason, I fancied some crunch in the salad. Let’s face it: salad greens, feta, and blueberries are relatively soft ingredients, so a distinct crunch would take the salad to another level.
The obvious crunch-providers in a keto diet are nuts (and naturally fried and crumbled bacon that I realized much later, after developing this recipe)! But when initially developing the recipe, however, I wanted to choose nuts. But which nuts I should take to crown my feta and blueberry salad? After a few minutes pondering, I thought walnuts are the best match since they have enough both crunch and flavor. Actually, I had ordered a batch of fresh organic walnuts from Greece — they would be an excellent addition to the salad, I thought.
Now, I had all my 5 ingredients and was ready to conduct the first experiment. I had calculated I need 1 pound (450 g) mixed salad greens for a salad that yields four servings. However, when I started laying the salad greens on the serving plate, I noticed that I had overestimated the amount drastically. After adding 10 oz (280 g) salad greens to the serving plate, it was overflowing. And my serving plate was huge!
So, I had to reduce the amount of salad greens. I ended up with 8 oz (230 g) salad greens that were fitting nicely to the plate. It was a generous amount, still, but at least it wasn’t overflowing anymore.
I also had planned to use (3.5 oz) 100 g feta cheese to the salad. However, it looked minuscule, so I decided to double the amount. Now, with 7 oz (200 g) feta cheese, the salad looked just perfect.
I had underestimated the amount of blueberries as well. I was planning to add 1/3 cup (80 ml), but when thinking more closely, it looked that amount wouldn’t lend enough flavor, so I decided to use 1/2 cup (120 ml).
Since I’m used to consuming plenty of fat on a keto diet, I was planning to drizzle 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil on the salad. However, after pouring in half of it, I noticed that the salad will be practically swimming in oil if I added the whole amount. 3 tablespoons olive oil felt just right: there was enough fat for a keto dieter in the salad, but it wasn’t too oily.
Usually, when developing a recipe and calculating the ingredients, I can most often estimate the amounts pretty correctly before even doing any experiments. However, this time, I had misestimated all other amounts except walnuts. The 1/2 cup (120 ml) of walnuts I had planned to use was just right! Phew!
Finally, I was super satisfied with the result — so was my tummy! The salad provided lots of different textures and flavors, plus it was very satisfying, considering it didn’t contain any meat. The taste was superb! And all that with just 5 ingredients!
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
|Nutrition information||In total||Per serving if 4 servings in total|
|Protein||49.4 g||12.4 g|
|Fat||138.4 g||34.6 g|
|Net carbs||19.1 g||4.8 g|
|kcal||1522 kcal||381 kcal|
How to vary the recipe
Instead of blueberries, feel free to use other berries, like blackberries or raspberries. Raspberries are much lower in carbs than blueberries or blackberries, so you can reduce the amount of carbs just by swapping to lower-carb berries. Want berries that are even lower in carbs? – Then use cranberries if you can handle the tartness!
Feel free to season the salad with natural salt, black pepper, or raw apple cider vinegar. Also, balsamic vinegar is a perfect match with its naturally sweet flavor. Just make sure to choose real balsamic vinegar — not syrup — as the syrups contain sugar and preservatives, so they are really high in carbs.
In case you don’t eat nuts, you can get your crunch, for example, from fried and crumbled bacon — or sprinkle the crumbled bacon on the salad with nuts. Super-satisfying!
Don’t like feta? Use another type of cheese, like Brie, Neufchâtel, Camembert, Gorgonzola, Gruyère, or Swiss cheese instead. Good old Cheddar goes well with this salad, too.
After finishing my keto book last week, I’ve taken it a bit easier. Well, I haven’t taken any days off — just some hours. For my language technology projects, I’ve mainly solved some tricky issues related to Swedish phonemes from the speech technology point of view.
But, I’ve also done lots of development for our coming keto products. I actually got myself a precision scale so that it’s easier to measure ingredients that you need just a tiny pinch — like stevia powder or sea salt.
Talking about product development and networking: we met Markus Lundström, the R&D Manager of Puhdistamo, a famous Finnish superfood manufacturer. Since all the public places are currently closed, we had an outdoor meeting in the beautiful Pyynikki. Pyynikki is located in a high ridge and surrounded by lakes. It’s just a few miles (or kilometers) from the center of the city of Tampere, where I live. In the photo below, you’ll see Markus and our CEO Olli tasting the samples I had made. I had prepared some keto chocolate as well as chocolaty keto spread with nuts.
The weather was beautiful, too. In fact, it was the warmest day this year so far — and there is no snow anymore, but the sun shining and surrounding us with its warmth. Actually, that warmth also melted the chocolate after a while!
Our Ketokamu website is getting a makeover, and we are creating some new content as well. We are also planning to open an online store. I was busy calculating the nutrition info for our products as well as creating terms and conditions and other necessary stuff to the website. On Friday, I took the first product photos for the online store:
Hope you have stayed well and safe!