Friday, July 15, 2011

Strawberry Salad

We are nearing the end of strawberry season here.  If you've never gone to an orchard to pick your own berries, plan to!  I don't think I've ever tasted such true, fresh flavor - it's completely different than the fruit you buy in the grocery store.

Tonight we headed to a BBQ.  BBQ = MEAT ... but, to stay on track with meatless week, I wanted to bring something that could stand on it's own as a meal (protein), yet, double as a delicious side salad.  I love adding fruit/berries into my salads ... but for this one, strawberries are magic.


1 head of green leaf lettuce or 1 bag of baby spinach
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 small can of mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 - 1 cup crumbled light feta
1 cup pecans (you can also use walnuts or candied nuts)
1 lb strawberries, trimmed and sliced
Perfect Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe below)

1/2 cup real mayo - light
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Add ingredients to a medium-sized jar or shaker.  Shake until combined.  I try and make it the night before serving so the flavors have time to develop.

Wash and spin the salad dry.  It's difficult to eat a slippery wet salad - gag.  I spin the oranges too because I don't like the added moisture.

Chop strawberries and onion.  I like to make a little assembly line so I can artfully plate each portion.

If you're taking the salad to a get-together, you can do an beautiful arrangement of ingredients in your serving bowl before you head out the door.  Toss with dressing just before serving (you might not need all the dressing).

The BBQ tonight was full of stories, laughter, and good food ... and at the end of day I received the greatest compliment a girl-who-loves-to-cook could ever get - I came home with an empty bowl.  Ahhh ... sweet and delicious success!

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