Rocket, Blackberry, and Gorgonzola Salad

I copied this out of a Sunset Magazine on the back side of a paper baguette sleeve one afternoon at hand therapy. Didn’t have much time, so it’s only the essentials, but I figured it might be worth a try, and at least nobody’d be likely to have eaten it before.

I quadrupled it for a Fourth of July party, and it went over so well that I am including it here.


1 T. lemon juice

3 T. olive oil

¼ t. dry mustard

¼ t. salt

¼ t. ground black pepper

1 T. fresh thyme

6 oz. or 3 c. arugula (the correct English language name for this stuff is “rocket lettuce” or just “rocket”, but most Americans now call it “arugula”, which is not even proper Italian but rather a dialectical version of “rucola”.)  Wall rocket (popularly called “wild arugula” is also routinely seen in San Francisco markets, and i’ll often use a combination of this and regular rocket.  Oh, and after you’ve washed and dried the rocket, it sure is a kindness to consumers to tear it up some as you’re throwing it into the bowl unless you’ve been lucky enough to find baby rocket.

4 oz. or 1 c. blackberries, marionberries, loganberries, or any of the other varieties.

2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (My favorite blue cheeses are aged gorgonzola, roquefort, and Point Reyes Original Blue, but none of them crumbles well. It’s much easier to do this with a drier blue cheese like D’Aosta or Cabrales. I have noticed that you can buy containers of pre-crumbled blue cheese in supermarkets, but i am profoundly suspicious of pre-crumbled foods and thus have not tried this stuff even though it would certainly make distributing the cheese easier.  Besides, it’s not that damn hard to crumble gorgonzola.


Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, mustard, salt, and pepper.

Mix in the thyme.

Toss with the lettuce.

Toss with the berries.

Plate and sprinkle with the cheese. For the party, I just dressed the lettuce and thyme, put the blackberries on, and then distributed the cheese on top. Made a good presentation.  Another advantage is that it’s easier to plate like this since if folks are serving themselves from a big bowl of it, the berries, and especially the cheese, settle to the bottom.

For a variation, you could use walnut oil and tayberry-jalapeño vinegar, omit the black pepper, and decorate it with a scattered handful of freshly toasted walnut pieces. Alas, tayberry-jalapeño vinegar is impossible to find unless you are a Friend of Matte, so you might just have to use blackberry vinegar, itself not all that easy to find and horribly expensive unless you get it from me.

Wintertime variation: Since we are now way too green to eat berries flown in from South America when our own blackberries are unavailable, just skip the berries and use lots of freshly roasted walnuts.

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