June 9, 2014

Strawberries Go on Salads in June

In the Pacific Northwest, June means local strawberries. So I want them on everything. Don't you? My cereal in the morning, yogurt, ice cream, salad, or straight from the farmer's cardboard basket.

It's a work night, so something simple. I had picked up lettuce greens, sunflower sprouts, a cucumber, carrots, celery and strawberries at the Farmer's Market on Saturday.  

Oh, and  the garlic scapes are in. Have you seen these yet? 

Garlic Scapes
My first experience with them was here in the agricultural county where I live. They are the shoots from garlic and they are cut before they flower. I chop them and add them to salads and salad dressing. They have a very mild garlic flavor, more like a hint.  And they are crunchy.

Because I knew I was going to use my strawberries on my salad tonight, I picked up goat cheese and grabbed a handfull of walnuts from my nut drawer. I have a whole drawer dedicated to nuts in my fridge. Is that nuts?

Olive Oil from Puglia in Italy and Mango Balsamic Vinegar from Drizzle in Fairhaven

And you know where I'm going with this - it has to wear a balsamic dress. This weekend I treated myself to a special bottle of the extra stringent Italian olive oil, one grown in the region of my DNA. It's the kind of olive oil that tickles the back of your throat and makes you cough. An acquired taste that I only learned to appreciate last summer in Tuscany - this is the olive oil with the healthy properties. So if you can learn to enjoy the taste, it's actually good for you.  

The mango balsamic was a gift from my friend, Marion. Thank you Marion - I love love love this vinegar. It has just enough sweetness to want to pour it over strawberries. But I think you knew that.

Strawberries on Salad Dressed in Balsamic and Olive Oil
Four spoons olive oil
One spoon balsamic vinegar
Enough for two salads, or tomorrow's lunch
season to taste, or use alone if it's yummy enough
Greens (I included several dandelion leaves from Terra Verde in Everson, Washington)
Sunflower sprouts
Garlic scapes
Goat Cheese
Chop to your desired size and texture. Toss. Serve. Enjoy