The strawberries are here! The strawberries are here!
The harvest was a little late this year, what with the hellishly long winter and unseasonably cold spring we just had, but at long last, the Ontario strawberries are here. Finally.
I was so excited to spot the familiar green baskets brimming with bright red berries that I didn't even balk at the $6 selling price.
I celebrated by tossing together one of my favourite summer salads, a blend of peppery baby greens from Cookstown Greens tossed with a sweet-and-sour creamy poppyseed dressing, and topped off with bright strawberries, creamy cheese and toasty almonds.
It's a lively blend of flavours and colours that makes the most of the intense flavour of in-season strawberries.
You've probably seen this salad made before with a fresh goat cheese, but I prefer Monforte Dairy's Pecorino Fresco cheese. It's a fresh sheep's milk cheese made by one of our local cheesemakers that stays together in nice firm cubes instead of falling apart like the softer chevre.
However, if you can't find Monforte's goods in your 'hood, queso fresco or a mild, creamy feta are reasonably good fascimiles.
And as for those strawberries? Worth every penny, and still pretty reasonable compared to... oh say... a new pair of shoes or a new camera lens. Yup. A gal could definitely have worse habits.
This summery salad is normally made with spinach, but it's surprisingly tasty (and a little more substantial) when made with shredded kale. Sweet strawberries, tangy goat cheese and toasty sliced almonds add bright colour and flavour to the mix.
Creamy Poppyseed Dressing:
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp finely minced shallot
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
- Salt and pepper
- 6 cups baby arugula (or any other peppery green)
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- ½ cup pecorino fresco cheese, cubed
- ½ cup toasted sliced almonds
Prepare the Dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, olive oil, minced shallot, sugar and poppy seeds until smooth. Set aside.
Prepare the Salad:
- In a large bowl, toss the greens with ¼ cup dressing, and toss until the greens are evenly coated. (Feel free to add more dressing, if you like, or transfer the leftovers to a small jar and refrigerate for another day.)
- Divide the dressed greens between four salad bowls. Top off with strawberries, cheese and sliced almonds, and serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: American