A RECIPE: Strawberry summer salad

I was on the phone to my good old friend Courtney the other day when she suddenly asked me:

“Got any good salad recipes going?”

And it struck me at that instant that although I eat a salad of some description at least once a day I rarely post about them. I LOVE salads- why the heck wasn’t I writing about them? Perhaps because they are my go-to meal of choice and I inevitably throw them together, using up the contents of my fridge. There are of course the old favourite add-ins- crispy chorizo, roasted butternut squash, crumbled feta cheese, grilled halloumi….but really there is no one combination that I seek to recreate. I just love the concept of throwing things together- a little of this, a handful of this, a really big handful of that, ooh that would be good too and viola! Dinner is ready- a meal in a bowl, what could be better?

Getting out the scales and the measuring cups is just not something I think to do when I make a salad. Even the dressings tend to be thrown together or sometimes I just drizzle the individual dressing elements over my plate. However, (because there is obviously a recipe for a salad about to come) there was this occasion, oh, only last week when I was rummaging through the contents of my newly cleaned fridge wondering what salad I could throw together that would be sophisticated enough to present to company. I had recently visited the smitten kitchen who had opened my eyes up to the novel idea of raw courgette and then there were those beautiful glistening strawberries perched close by, which I had just seen Jamie Oliver throwing in a salad (so it couldn’t be wrong). Well, that was it. I had my soft and crisp elements- now all I needed was, a bit of crunch (walnuts), a little chew (edamame), a creamy touch (blue cheese) and some peppery greens (rocket). Viola! A salad easy enough to throw together and sophisticated enough for company. Now, wasn’t that easy?

Got any salad favourites? Send them my way!

Strawberry summer salad

I hate finding recipes for salads serving six but now that I’ve written this out to serve one, the measurements seem a little ridiculous. In any case, the point is that these are the ingredients and you can throw them together in any ratio you choose. This serves one as a starter salad- I would hate to suggest that this would suffice as a whole meal. My dressing is only a suggestion- feel free to experiment.

Makes: 1 small salad

Difficulty: not wanting seconds

Diet Facts: gluten-free, vegan without the cheese

25g/1 oz courgette, sliced paper thin on a mandoline

50g/2 oz strawberries, stemmed and sliced thinly width-ways by hand

15g/ 1/2 oz shelled edamame (or broad beans)

10g/1 heaped tbsp chopped toasted walnuts

20g/1 tbsp blue cheese, crumbled (or feta, or goats cheese)

10g/ 1 small handful rocket or mixed leaves

freshly cracked black pepper

balsamic vinegar and truffle oil to finish (or dressing of choice)

1/ First lay the courgette slices on a small plate. Then top with a smattering of strawberries, soy beans, walnuts and blue cheese and top with a little bundle of rocket or mixed leaves.

2/ Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a few drops of truffle oil (or olive oil. Spoilsport) and serve immediately.

1 Response to “A RECIPE: Strawberry summer salad”

  1. 1 Jules July 21, 2008 at 6:42 am

    I have two favorite salads:

    Basically, two avocados, cut into smallish chunks, two fresh buffalo mozzarella, and a whole bunch of cherry tomatos, halved.
    Dressing: some olive oil, bit of balsamic vinegar, french mustard (the knobbly stuff, not the smooth stuff), and a teeny bit of honey or maple syrup. Toss the salad in the dressing and put into the fridge an hour before serving: the dressing flavours will be absorbed, but the textures remain nice and firm.

    Kidney salad.
    Lightly fry some red onion and garlic and pancetta for two mins (so the onion isn’t yet soft). Add about 8 lambs kidneys, cut lengthways into halves. Fry for a few mins, until the kidneys are just about cooked through, but only just (they should still be a bit chewy). Toss all of this (including the liquid) over a mixture of watercress and peppery spinach.

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