In a perfect (blog) world, I’d share a new bright and fresh salad with you every week. In my mind, this is a goal that I’ve got floating around, as I think doing so helps to bring about such a sense of balance – a healthy, built-in equilibrium of sorts. Amidst all of the dinners and sweets and treats, knowing that you will always find some fresh respite via a great salad seems like a really good thing – a nice blogger’s promise. The consistent sharing of regular salad recipes – of all type – helps reinforce the notion of dietary moderation that we all need. Plus I kind of love the challenge of creating a fun, original salad recipe here every week. And so. Here we go …. I’m excited to bring you a ** gorgeous ** Strawberry Fields Salad today.
A really great salad is one whose components have been selected with thoughtfulness and intent – we’re not just throwing a bunch of things into a big bowl and calling it good, you know? I employ the “what grows together goes together” mantra when selecting salad ingredients, putting a veritable stamp on my devotion to seasonal eating. In this Strawberry Fields Salad, we’re pairing together some crunchy sweet sugar snap peas, spring greens, juicy strawberries (which are just hitting the front end of their peak season) spicy red onion shaved ever so thin, and creamy goat cheese. I think the flavor and crunch of toasty pistachios goes so well with strawberries, and I tend to make them dance partners more often than not.
What ties this whole she-bang together so nicely, however, is the dressing. I could drink this stuff guys – it’s delicious. It’s a strawberry balsamic vinaigrette that is just the right amount of sweet with a hint of spiciness that you get from a good mustard (Dijon here). A splash of balsamic vinegar and some extra virgin olive oil brings it all together so nicely.
In this Strawberry Fields Salad, as in many of my other salads, I like to pluck an ingredient from the salad itself and build the dressing from that. In this case, the pretty strawberries were the chosen ones, and I’m quite pleased with my selection – the dressing is wonderful. We’re using strawberry jam (or all fruit spread) as the base and it works perfectly.
One last tip before we go – don’t forget to season your salad! It might sound funny, but salads, like any other plate of food, deserve and are better for some simple seasoning. I’m just talking about salt and pepper here, but you can riff a little if the spirit moves you to do so. You don’t want to season your salad and let it sit for a while though – that will affect the veggies and fruits in a way that would be unappealing (it will draw out moisture).
As such, just give your finished salad a sprinkle of salt and pepper right before you serve it. Doing so will bring the various elements to life and make things even more delicious than they would be otherwise. Salt and pepper have a way of doing that.
A beautifully fresh and crunchy salad that highlights some of spring’s finest. You can adjust the amounts of things here, to suit the serving size that you need … using more or less of each element to suit your own taste. To make it more of a main course, I like to add some roasted chicken to the mix.
In a large salad bowl or serving platter, arrange the lettuces/greens. Top with some thinly shaved red onion, the strawberries, snap peas, crumbled goat cheese and pistachios. Season your salad just before serving with salt and pepper. Serve with the dressing on the side.
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