Blackberry basil salad on a plate.

Blackberry Basil Arugula Salad with Hyssop Blackberry Vinaigrette

As warm weather approaches, a green salad bursting with sweet fruit, crisp lettuce and a floral vinaigrette suits the season.

Cultivating your very own batch of vinegar can be a simpler and swifter process than anticipated. The benefit of DIY-ing your own brew is that you can adjust the acidity level with how long you let the ferment run its course, while simultaneously being able to customize the flavor of your vinegar. 

Taste your vinegar weekly, and place it in the refrigerator once it has reached your desired level of tang.

Hyssop is a vibrant purple flower of the mint family and carries notes of sweetness, licorice and fennel seeds. It grows in the ICE Hydroponic Farm, along with several varieties of herbs like basil, both of which are showcased in the vinaigrette and as a component in this salad.  

The sweetness of fresh blackberries and aromatic notes of the basil and hyssop take this salad to the next level.

What's Good to Know with Chef Olivia:

  • Adding fresh herbs, such as chives and basil, to your next bowl of greens is a great way to infuse a salad with bright, aromatic flavor notes.
  • Feel free to substitute other greens on hand, such as mesclun, romaine, butter lettuce or a blend of each for the baby arugula or red leaf lettuce.
  • Hyssop shrubs are a great perennial to plant in your garden as they attract bees and other pollinators.
  • When adding edible blossoms into your salad or batch of homemade vinegar, always make sure they were grown for consumption in soil tested for lead and other particulates.
  • If access to hyssop is limited, add in lavender extract, orange blossom water, or rose water for a floral finish.
  • For extra decadence and texture contrast, add in goat cheese, croutons or avocado to liven up your salad even further.


Blackberry Basil Arugula Salad with Hyssop Blackberry Vinaigrette

Yield: 6 cups


For the Blackberry Hyssop Blossom Vinegar:
Yield: 1 quart-sized jar

  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1/3 cup hyssop blossoms & leaves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • water, to cover

For the Salad and Assembly:

  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup blackberry hyssop vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 2 cups red leaf lettuce
  • 1 bunch chives, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 pint blackberries, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup hyssop blossoms


For the Blackberry Hyssop Blossom Vinegar:

  1. Alternate adding blackberries, hyssop blossoms, hyssop leaves and sugar into a sterilized, quart-sized glass jar.
  2. Pour in rice vinegar and wine.
  3. Add fermentation weight.
  4. Cover with water, if needed, until the level comes up 1 inch below the lower rim.
  5. Attach airlock lid and ferment at room temperature for 1 to 4 weeks, or until the desired level of acidity is achieved.
  6. Strain and refrigerate vinegar for extended storage.

For the Salad and Assembly:

  1. Whisk together diced shallot, Dijon mustard, honey, blackberry hyssop vinegar and sea salt in a large bowl.
  2. Steadily stream in the olive oil until emulsified.
  3. Toss baby arugula, red leaf lettuce, sliced chives, basil leaves and blackberries gently with dressing.
  4. Garnish with hyssop blossoms.

More fermented recipes from Chef Olivia:

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