The other week I headed out for the farmer’s market at Copley Square, my camera tucked in my backpack.  It was one of those days when merely stepping outside resulted in sweat-drenched clothes, but for some psychotic reason I decided to walk there.  The path from my apartment in South Boston to the market takes you through an array of neighborhoods and scenery.  Every time I do this walk, I see a detail of the city that I’d never noticed before.  It could be a mural on the side of a building or a hidden park down a side street.

The shaded kiosks at the market provided enough protection to make it a pleasant trip.  I strolled around for a while, poking into each tent to marvel at the gorgeous produce.  I couldn’t help but touch everything.  This is what carrots are supposed to look like!  And aren’t these beets stunning?  My fellow patrons look over at me, laughing and nodding in agreement.   There was no way I was going home without a few ingredients.

Is it weird that the thing I enjoy preparing most are salads?  Even as a teenager, there was nothing that excited me more than chopping veggies and whisking together a vinaigrette.  This is how I started to learn how to cook, and I guess it’s why it’s stuck with me all these years.

The true pleasure in eating salad is that often the ingredients are left unaltered or cooked in a way that lets their natural flavors shine.  This blueberry, beet, and feta salad wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I got started on developing this dish.  Honestly, I’m not sure what my vision was.  I was hoping for something leafy, but when the bowl developed and I saw how striking the colors were and that the flavors and textures were layered, I knew this was something that needed to be shared.

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  • July 30, 2013 - 1:14 am

    Tieghan - This is gorgeous. I love the combo of fruit and cheese, especially when it is feta! This is simple, pretty and perfect!ReplyCancel

  • July 30, 2013 - 1:38 am

    Heidi @foodiecrush - Those yellow beets are to die for, I’m definitely planting next year. And making a trip to the farmer’s market this week! Beautiful salad.ReplyCancel

  • July 30, 2013 - 4:13 am

    Belinda @themoonblushbaker - Your combination of fruit and veggies are so adventurous. Would this work if I roasted the yellow beets instead of boiling? or will the flavours not work as well? To die for salad though.ReplyCancel

  • July 30, 2013 - 7:06 am

    Joanne - You just never know how inspiration is going to strike and where it will lead you! I’m certainly glad it took you to this salad because the burst of blueberries amongst the beets and feta is definitely intriguing!ReplyCancel

  • July 30, 2013 - 7:45 am

    Kulsum - One beet with feta! Got to add blueberries next time.ReplyCancel

  • July 30, 2013 - 8:19 am

    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl - I used to work at the Boston CVB in the Copley Place Mall and would walk to the farmer’s market after work all summer. You officially have me excited for our visit next month!!ReplyCancel

  • July 30, 2013 - 8:53 am

    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective - Lovely salad, Brian! Gorgeous colors!ReplyCancel

  • July 30, 2013 - 11:45 am

    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch - Beautiful, colorful and I’m SURE – Delicious!!!ReplyCancel

  • July 30, 2013 - 12:45 pm

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - It’s definitely not weird, I LOVE preparing salads too! This recipe is so lovely Brian!ReplyCancel

  • July 30, 2013 - 8:32 pm

    Lori @ RecipeGirl - I love the simplicity of this salad… it allows you to really enjoy those beets, which are my absolute favorite!ReplyCancel

  • July 30, 2013 - 9:30 pm

    najwa kronfel - Beautiful salad, I love the combination of flavors!ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2013 - 1:21 am

    Sarah | The Sugar Hit - Beets and feta cheese are one of the best combos. They go together like chloe and lamar.ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2013 - 2:05 am

    Alison Lewis - This looks beyond amazing! All of my favorite ingredients!ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2013 - 12:44 pm

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence - Ooo this looks good. I usually pair beets with goat cheese, but feta sounds like a nice substitution!ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2013 - 4:24 pm

    Jeanette's Healthy Living - I love the idea of mixing beets and blueberries ~ never tried that before!ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2013 - 8:09 pm

    Diane {Created by Diane} - looks so yummy, I love everything in this salad!ReplyCancel

  • August 3, 2013 - 10:34 pm

    Lora @cakeduchess - I love salads like this-so colorful and so perfectly summer:)Great way to use beets paired with feta!ReplyCancel

  • August 5, 2013 - 11:45 am

    Jenny @ BAKE - these salad sounds really intriguing and the colours look gorgeous together!ReplyCancel

  • August 5, 2013 - 3:21 pm
  • August 5, 2013 - 5:00 pm

    nusrat2010 - Healthy salad recipe with killer photography! My Oh My! Love love love it!ReplyCancel

  • August 5, 2013 - 5:06 pm

    Rachel Smith - Have never come across this combination before, but it looks beautiful and can imaging it tastes wonderful too….will have to give it a go, just to make sure..ReplyCancel

  • August 19, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    Ali @ Inspiralized - Great combination of flavors… where’d you get the inspiration for this one?ReplyCancel

  • August 20, 2013 - 8:22 pm

    sandra - this salad looks so good. I love beets and the combo with cheese sounds really wonderful. I love going to my Green Market at Union Sq, NY. It is always an uplifting experience.ReplyCancel

  • October 2, 2013 - 11:11 am

    Fruit Salad Recipe with Kiwi, Strawberries, and Mango - Andrea Meyers — Andrea Meyers - […] A Thought for Food – Blueberry, Beet, and Feta Salad […]ReplyCancel

  • August 5, 2014 - 9:02 am

    Summer Week 7 Recipe Ideas | Good Food Collective - […] Blueberries Blueberry Balsamic + Goat Cheese Flatbread Blueberry Muffin Smoothie Balsamic Blueberry Grilled Cheese Sandwich Blueberry, Beet & Feta Salad […]ReplyCancel

  • August 16, 2015 - 1:17 pm

    Joy - Hello Brian,

    Thanks for this great recipe! I also enjoy farmers’ market shopping, and was delighted to find golden beets (something I had never tried before) on a recent trip. I put the beets and blueberries atop a bed of mixed lettuces. I also realized that the Feta I thought I had at home was actually goat cheese, and rather than make a trip to the store, I used the goat cheese. The salad was yummy!! The golden beets are sweeter than red beets, and made a nice tart/sweet combination with the other ingredients.ReplyCancel

A text came in from my mother the other week with a picture of my niece.  She was holding her first popsicle, which, not surprisingly, she was enjoying tremendously. It brought back such sweet childhood memories.  As a kid, I could eat those one after the next on a blistery summer day and never get tired of them.  Ones with pieces of fruit in them were pure perfection.  I’d plop down in front of the television and lick and chomp and slurp before it melted all over the floor.

One of the many fun treats that came out of my cookbook shoot from a few weeks ago was a popsicle maker. I’d been holding back on purchasing one, thinking that it was kind of lame and gimmicky. That was until, of course, I actually tried making my own… on a 90 + degree day. And how magnificent that first bite was. Eric and I immediately looked at each other and blurted out with big silly grins on our faces: boozy popsicles.  He suggested making a batch with sangria, which I thought was a fabulous idea. Instead of sweetening it with regular simple syrup, though, I decided to infuse them with some beautiful lavender my friend sent me from their trip to Hawaii.

There were a few points during the heat wave we experienced last week when these came in handy.  At five o’clock (or – ahem – maybe a little earlier than that), we’d get home and rush to the freezer.  Needless to say, I expect a few more batches will be prepared over the next month and a half.

Enjoy and stay cool everyone!

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  • July 23, 2013 - 7:28 am

    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective - Oh, man! These sound waaaay too good! :)ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 7:35 am

    Belinda @themoonblushbaker - oh how your story makes me miss summer in Australia. Truly beautiful ice dessertReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 7:48 am

    alison @ Ingredients, Inc. - great combination! WOWReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 8:35 am

    Aggie - Not only are these gorgeous…but there’s wine in them!!! Love this so much Brian. :)ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 8:42 am

    Art & Lemons - Love the flavors and fruit pieces in these pops, beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 8:54 am

    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough - Sangria + popsicles = best summer treat, ever. Love the combo of peach and lavender going on here!ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 9:04 am

    Tieghan - Love these!! The peach and lavender combo sounds so good!ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 9:15 am

    Shashi @ - great idea! great post – glad to have stumbled by today :)ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 9:25 am

    Sandy Coughlin - Popsicle makers are a God-send! Boozy popsicles are even better. Perfect for a creative dinner party dessert!ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 10:01 am

    foodnerd4life - Oh my these look good! I’m in a very hot office and I could do with one of those for sure!

    FoodNerd xReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 10:11 am

    dixya| food, pleasure, and health - i love those peach slices in there :)ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 10:16 am

    Ken┃hungry rabbit - These are delicious summer thirst quencher. I need to break out the popsicle mold ASAP.ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 11:55 am

    Kristen - These are absolutely gorgeous, Brian! Love the sangria twist!ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 1:41 pm

    Anonymous - What could be better than a boozy popcycle on a hot July day….great idea!ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 3:34 pm

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - Getting to see your niece trying a popsicle for the first time (even in photo) is amazing! I can’t even imagine all the fun flavours and strange things it would do to your mouth. I love these boozy ice pops! What a fabulous flavour combination!ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 5:46 pm

    Cassie | Bake Your Day - These could not be more beautiful. And the lavender – LOVE it.ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 9:03 pm

    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies - I could seriously live off of popsicles this summer. Especially boozy ones!ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2013 - 11:49 pm

    Shulie Foodwanderings - Aww Bri. these popsicles look so refreshing, much needed relief in this heatwave and humidity of ours. Now gimme some & for S too. Though he is turning 21 only next month but I guess the alcohol dissipates with the heat, right? :)ReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2013 - 2:22 am

    Sarah | The Sugar Hit - With the peaches? And the sangria? Please. It’s winter where I am! Ya killin me!ReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2013 - 3:34 am

    Diane {Created by Diane} - These look so refreshing and I’m OBSESSED with lavender, which I’m sure you will notice in my coming posts :)
    Feel fee to tell me when you think I’m too obsessed.
    For now I will dream of making these….don’t get me started how much I love peaches.
    Can’t wait to see the Sangria Popsicles!ReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2013 - 8:08 am

    TidyMom - what a fabulous summer treat!!ReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2013 - 8:54 am

    Andrew Frishman - Mnnn!… I LOVES me some sicles, especially when they’re poppin

    Es como hielo en el infiernoReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2013 - 12:43 pm

    Recipes Gawker - Hello,

    We Showcase Mouthwatering Gallery of World’s Best Recipes to our readers daily.
    We would like to invite you to join our food community and let you to feature some of your best recipes on our website.
    Want to know more about us? Please visit

    Recipes Gawker TeamReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2013 - 12:59 pm

    Missi Marois Keifer - Brilliant! Such an inventive use of the lavender!ReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2013 - 2:32 pm

    Michael Lewicki - I am now dreaming about the first batch I make. Everything I love in summer. Cold, refreshing sangrias and summer-ripe peaches. The lavendar is just the cherry. Love this, B!ReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2013 - 4:14 pm

    Rochelle Ramos - I need some peaches! I already have the lavender growing in my garden, but my peach tree is too young yet to produce. Maybe I’ll see some good ones at the store this week so I can make my own popsicles at home :)ReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2013 - 4:20 pm

    Kay Frishman - These look SO absolutely delicious! Hope to share them with you soon!ReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2013 - 11:57 pm

    Irina @ wandercrush - This is just one of those really good ideas that I scowl at myself for not thinking of first! Haha I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to get a popsicle maker, so this is a firm tally for the “yes” side!ReplyCancel

  • July 25, 2013 - 3:08 am

    Kulsum - I have lavender laying around for like ages and couldn’t find a way to use it! thanks for this ideaReplyCancel

  • July 25, 2013 - 9:49 pm

    Shaina - Adore the peach and lavender combination.ReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2013 - 7:10 am

    Joanne - I JUST got a popsicle mold and made my first ever popsicles this week! It’s amazing how easy they were. And as a result, how many of them I shall be consuming in the next two months. Can’t stop won’t stop.

    A boozy version is definitely key to after work happiness, methinks. Love this peach lavender infusion!ReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2013 - 7:59 am

    Carolyn - In the heat we’ve had, you needed that popsicle maker! But now it’s 63 degrees…weird summer!ReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2013 - 8:33 am

    ashley - baker by nature - Gorgeous story! Gorgeous Pops! Love it all :)ReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2013 - 6:01 pm

    J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats - Love “cocktail” pops and adding lavender to this is lovelyReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2013 - 6:15 pm

    Monet - Just lovely, my sweet friend. Feels so good to be back reading your blog! The little one is finally napping on a more consistent schedule which means more time for my favorites. This looks delicious, and I do agree…popsicles bring back such fond childhood memories. Thank you for sharing!!ReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2013 - 8:21 pm

    Love - the secret ingredient - The perfect summer treat! Takes me back! Lavender and peach sounds like an unbeatable combo.ReplyCancel

  • July 27, 2013 - 8:23 am

    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is - […] these peach and lavender sangria pops! so cute. […]ReplyCancel

  • July 28, 2013 - 6:00 am

    Sunday Funday :) | What's Gaby Cooking - […] Sangria Popsicles – whaaaaaat? Yes, please. […]ReplyCancel

  • July 28, 2013 - 3:35 pm

    Cautious Vegetarian - Lavender and peach, what a great combination!ReplyCancel

  • July 29, 2013 - 12:00 pm

    Kelly - These look incredible! :)ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2014 - 9:48 pm
  • August 4, 2014 - 7:01 am

    Homemade Popsicles! | The Preppy Post Grad - […] Peach and Lavender Sangria Popsicles (A Thought for Food) […]ReplyCancel

This week, I was invited to a very special dinner at Grafton Street in Harvard Square where their chef, Eric Gregory, and bartender, Morgan Carney, created a menu pairing dishes with cocktails using gin from Berkshire Mountain Distillers.  As a fan of BMD and the folks at Grafton, I was excited to see what they would present.  I was struck by how naturally the cocktails worked with the food, in particular the first drink that incorporated muddled watermelon.  It was a bright, refreshing beverage that worked beautifully with the smoked salmon.  Neither overpowered the other, and that’s an impressive feat especially when working with such delicate flavors.  I hope the photos show just how enjoyable the food and cocktails were… it also helped that we were sitting outside on the patio.  The perfect way to spend a summer night.

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  • July 19, 2013 - 12:38 am

    Tieghan - What and incredible night. Wow!ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2013 - 2:23 pm
  • July 20, 2013 - 9:26 pm

    Andrew Frishman - MMnnnn… I loves me some event, especially when it has been distilled down to its essence!

    ¡Viva las bebidas! (y las cócteles)ReplyCancel

  • July 22, 2013 - 6:56 am

    Carolyn - What a gorgeous dinner, and I do love me some good gin! Nice that it’s made locally here in MA.ReplyCancel

  • July 22, 2013 - 3:12 pm

    Diane {Created by Diane} - looks like a great place and now I’m THIRSTY!ReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2013 - 2:34 pm

    Michael Lewicki - I need a place like that in my life. A watering hole that makes drinks as delicious as those look. I’m suffering from envy.ReplyCancel

  • July 25, 2013 - 1:12 am

    Shaina - Gin dinner? You have got to be kidding me. This is glorious.ReplyCancel

  • August 4, 2013 - 11:20 pm

    Shelby Linton Carney - My awesome brother-in-law the bartender! :)ReplyCancel