Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Strawberry salads, forever

How many bowls of strawberries can one eat, really? That's a rhetorical question. But one that I've been asking myself--a lot!--as we scoop the sweet berries rather regularly to top cereal... ice cream... just to eat ad hoc, one at a time. When our strawberries arrive, they REALLY arrive. I spent an hour picking the other night prior to the monsoon, and came inside with upwards of 10 pounds to eat, freeze, eat and eat some more.

As it's been documented here in past posts, I am alone in this household in my love of fruit on/in a salad. Fruit salad itself is fine with my boys, but when you start adding greens, and nuts, and cheese (always with the cheese!), they both look at me a little sideways and shake their heads--politely, but I know what they are thinking.

So these two strawberry salads were eaten entirely by me. I'm proud to say it, I have been eating more than my share of greens and strawberries lately!

Strawberry arugula salad with baked brie
Serves 1 for a meal, two for a starter
4 cups arugula leaves (I added in a bit of baby spinach as well)
1 cup strawberries, sliced or halved, depending on size
Olive oil, drizzled
Salt and pepper to taste
Brie (three small slices, but that's really up to you...)

Clean and tear the arugula if the leaves are larger than bite-size. Place in a medium bowl. Drizzle the olive oil on the greens and toss lightly. Cut the strawberries and add to the greens, toss gently. Arrange greens and strawberry mixture on a plate.

Turn the broiler on high in your oven. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray (or use parchment) and lay the brie slices on the tray. Broil for 3-4 minutes, depending on your oven and how far your rack is from the element. When the cheese is bubbling slightly, take it out and let the cheese rest for a minute. Gently slide a pancake turner under the cheese, and lift onto the greens.

Salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

I really enjoyed the salty-sweet combination with this salad. Quite heavenly.

Here's what I can't believe about this kale salad: That I haven't tried it sooner. The whole "massaged" kale thing has been around for quite some time, but honestly, until you've tried it, you'll just think it will be like eating grass. At least, that's what was rattling around in the back of my mind... But you've probably tried it many times, and I'm the one late to the party... any which way, wow, it's great! The dressing really works its magic, and before you know it, the greens are soft and tender, and the whole combination is quite delicious.

The recipe I found to base this (and the dressing recipe) from did not have any cheese in the combination... obviously I had to change that! I experimented with a bit of blue cheese on one part of the salad, and a little parmesan on the other. Both were quite yummy!

Kale salad with strawberries
Serves 1 for a meal or 2 for a starter
6 cups of kale (this will reduce by more than half when massaging commences)
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/3 cup cheese--blue, parmesan, I think chevre would be delightful as well...
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean and chop the kale, taking out the stems. (Even with our delicate garden-fresh kale, this makes a great difference in terms of the chewability, steamed or otherwise.) Place the kale in a large mixing bowl and add a couple of tablespoons of dressing and massage for a minute or two. The kale starts to soften pretty quickly, and you can tell by touch pretty easily that it's "done." (If in doubt, taste test!)

Add the sliced strawberries, cheese and nuts, and toss gently, with salt and pepper to taste. Place on a dinner plate (or two salad plates) and enjoy!

1 shallot, minced fine
1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar (I used a meyer lemon balsamic that added some great extra zip)
1 Tbsp. honey
Salt and pepper

Chop the shallot finely, put in a small container. (I start out with the little jam jar that I plan to store the dressing in.) Add the rest of the ingredients, put the lid on the bottle and shake like crazy for a couple of minutes. Voila.

Do you have a favorite strawberry salad recipe to share? I am open and ready to receive any new ideas you would like to send my way. There are still oodles of berries in the fridge...

1 comment:

  1. wow. those salads look delicious. jealous of your crazy strawberry harvest.


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