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Cool Summer Salad: Arugula, Blackberry, Avocado, and Pecorino

Healthy doesn't have to mean boring. Ditch the carrots and cukes and take your standard side salad to the next level with farm-fresh ingredients

Celery, cucumbers, carrots—if there's one thing we can't stand about salads it's the tired toppings that come with them. Wouldn't it be nice to surprise your guests with something that's both unexpected and, better yet, more nutritious? That coup is easier than ever to pull off in the summer, when your fresh produce options go through the roof.

Take this hearty bowl of greenery by chef, instructor, and Today-show stylist Ashton Keefe, whose first cookbook Lemon & Salt: A Modern Girl's Guide to Culinary Revelry combines the elegance of the culinary arts with the ease of everyday cooking. Here, she trades weak iceberg lettuce for peppery arugula, adding creamy avocado, sweet blackberries, and salty pecorino cheese for a sure-to-be appreciated twist on standard mixed greens. Like what you see? Then check back here in the next few weeks for more of Keefe's approachable, delicious recipes.

Cool Summer Salad: Arugula, Blackberry, Avocado, and Pecorino

Arugula, Blackberry, Avocado, and Pecorino Salad
Serves 8

- 5 oz. baby arugula
- 2 pints blackberries
- 2 avocados, diced
- 1 cup pecorino cheese, grated
- 1 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Maldon salt

Lay baby arugula on a large platter and arrange with blackberries and avocado. Sprinkle with cheese, nuts, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, and toss to combine.