Strawberry Salad

Here’s what I have to say about this Strawberry Salad – aside from the fact that a Strawberry Salad is the ONLY salad my husband actually requests – there are 4 key ingredients aside from the strawberries and they ALL can be substituted – honestly, even the strawberries could be peaches if that’s what you have on hand.

So you have your fruit, your greens, your cheese and your nuts. I like to add avocado (which I toss in lemon juice to keep it’s color) – again, optional. So for the sake of this blog making any sense, I am going to give you my exact recipe from the photograph above, but I just want to re-iterate that this is merely the blueprint for an easy fruit-forward salad and you can be creative with your elements.

SHOPPING LIST: romaine hearts, strawberries, blue cheese, avocado, lemon, pecans, confectioners sugar, cayenne pepper, balsamic vinegar, stone ground mustard, olive oil, honey, salt, pepper

I used the candied pecans for this because I had them leftover already from the Grilled Radicchio Salad – so follow this link so I’m not a broken record with the candied pecan instructions – or do what I would normally do and buy the candied pecans in the cheese department at your local Whole Foods.

Chop your romaine hearts (I used two) and set aside. I like the greenery in this salad to be second fiddle, almost OVER-POWERED by all the goodies. My husband prefers spinach for this, I love arugula, but we already had romaine hearts so that’s where we’re at. Chop about 8 large strawberries, first cutting off the ends, then slicing them in half through the root, and then in half again so you get almost triangular shapes. Score half an avocado, remove the sliced cubes with a large spoon and toss immediately in the juice of 1/2 a lemon and a sprinkle of salt.

Aside from this minimal prep work, the next thing you really NEED to make here is the vinaigrette – which is a GREAT standby. You could even use this an easy chicken marinade. In a small bowl, add 2 tB. of balsamic vinegar, 2 tB. of stone ground mustard, 1 tB. of olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover your bed of chopped romaine with your sliced strawberries, blue cheese crumbles (feta or fresh mozzarella would work well here!), candied pecans (I like to break them by hand) and avocado. Give your dressing a good mix before you drizzle it over the top to make sure the vinaigrette is emulsified. As you’ll see in the picture, the mustard seeds are key to finishing this dish. They beautifully dress all of the accoutrements of your salad and burst with mustard flavor in each bountiful bite.

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