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Arugula Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette and Honey Spiced Macadamia Nuts

Arugula Salad in a bowl with jar of Blueberry Vinaigrette.

My daughter and I are back home from our week-long road trip down to Alabama and after 7 days of eating fried foods and desserts every chance I got, plus downing daiquiris by the pool, some lighter meals are in order. I’m not even going to step on the scale for at least a week, because I just might cry.

Blueberry Arugula Salad in white bowl with jar of macadamia nuts in background.

Arugula Salad with Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette and Honey-Roasted Macadamia Nuts is a light and summery salad that’s anything but light on flavor. The salad dressing takes several days to make, but it’s worth the wait. It produces a thick, syrupy dressing that’s a nice contrast to tangy goat cheese and peppery arugula.

This could actually be called triple blueberry salad because there are blueberries in the vinaigrette, fresh blueberries in the salad, plus I used a wonderful blueberry goat cheese. Yes, I love blueberries! The blueberry goat cheese is a wonderful local product made by Round Mountain Creamery in Black Mountain, NC. There has really been an explosion of farms in that area producing their own cheeses.  They sell a bunch of flavored goat cheeses, but this one with blueberries, pecans, and lemons is phenomenal in salads, on sandwiches, crackers, or smeared on a toasted bagel. You can order their cheeses online.

With the crunch of some spicy/sweet macadamia nuts, this salad will get you out of your ordinary salad rut. Add some grilled chicken or shrimp and call it a meal.

Bowl of Blueberry Vinaigrette next to bowl of salad.

Blueberry Vinaigrette

Arugula Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette and Honey Spiced Macadamia Nuts


  • 8 cups baby arugula
  • ½ a cucumber, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup goat cheese

Blueberry Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • several strips of lime peel, green part only
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Honey Spiced Macadamia Nuts

  • 1 cup whole macadamia nuts
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Make the Vinaigrette. First make a blueberry flavored vinegar. In a small saucepan, crush the blueberries with a fork or potato masher. Add vinegar, sugar, lime peel, and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick.
  • Let mixture cool and place in refrigerator for 24 hours. Strain the mixture into a bowl, using a fine-mesh strainer. Use a wooden spoon to press as much liquid out as possible. Discard solids.
  • In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons of the blueberry vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Gradually whisk in olive oil.
  • Make Macadamia Nuts. Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Mix all ingredients together and spread out on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes, stir the nuts, and bake for 6 to 7 more minutes (careful not to burn the nuts.)
  • Combine arugula, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, and blueberries in a large salad bowl. Top with goat cheese and macadamia nuts. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
Course: Salad

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7 thoughts on “Arugula Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette and Honey Spiced Macadamia Nuts”

  1. Ari @ Ari's Menu

    OMG. Everything about this salad. Literally, every single component. This has got to be one of my favorite things you’ve posted!

  2. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    Aw, this salad looks scrumptious plus it’s super beautiful. I think I know now what we’re having for dinner tonight ;–)

  3. Abbe@This is How I Cook

    What a gorgeous salad and a fantastic vacation. What I would give to take either of my kids away-ll; to myself. And then we could eat this salad –Oh, just dreaming, but it all sounds so good! Thanks for visiting my site. Can’t wait to see more of yours!

  4. Deb@CookingOnTheFrontBurner

    I saw this on Food Gawker and I love both the pictures and recipes – pinned!

  5. i love nuts and adore blueberries. This salad is spot on! Can’t wait to try it! Pinning!

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