This light and refreshing side dish was created by the chefs at Blackberry Farm, an award-winning luxury hotel and resort in eastern Tennessee. The ingredients—sliced cucumbers and sweet onions, fresh mint, pickled blackberries—might sound like an unusual combination, but the homemade tangy-sweet blackberry vinaigrette brings everything together deliciously. The pickled blackberries can be made up to a week in advance. Be sure to reserve the extra blackberry vinegar from the pickling liquid. It will leave you with enough vinegar for months of delicious salads. Serve this Shaved Cucumber Salad with Pickled Blackberries on a warm summer night alongside grilled fish, shrimp, or chicken for a simple and elegant supper. "This salad was inspired by a basket of onions, blackberries, cucumbers, and mint that showed up in the kitchen one day," says Sarah Steffan, executive chef of The Dogwood restaurant at Blackberry Farm. "Soak the onions in salted water and ice to crisp them up and mellow them out."

Blackberry Farm


Credit: Helen Norman; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

Recipe Summary test

25 mins
48 hrs
48 hrs 55 mins
Serves 6


Pickled Blackberries and Blackberry Vinegar
Shaved Cucumber Salad


Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the Pickled Blackberries and Blackberry Vinegar: Combine sugar, Champagne vinegar, water, tarragon sprigs, and peppercorns in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes. Place blackberries in a large bowl. Pour vinegar mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer over blackberries; discard tarragon and peppercorns. Cover blackberry mixture, and cool completely, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate blackberry mixture at least 2 days and up to 1 week. Transfer Pickled Blackberries to a separate container. Reserve Blackberry Vinegar.

  • Prepare the Shaved Cucumber Salad: Thinly slice cucumbers and onion using a mandoline. Place cucumber and onion slices, mint, and Pickled Blackberries in a medium bowl. Whisk together oil, Blackberry Vinegar, salt, and pepper; pour over cucumber mixture, and toss gently. Reserve remaining Blackberry Vinegar for another use. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 month.