Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Will Run For Summer Salad With Strawberry Vinaigrette



The only thing better than picking fruits and vegetables out of your own garden is picking fruits and vegetables out of a garden that you didn't have to weed.  However,  I can occasionally be convinced to weed if I'm allowed to sample the produce as I weed.  Luckily, this time there was no weeding involved (or bugs, or snakes, or dirt caked under my nails) only two delicious baskets of strawberries.



If baskets of strawberries weren't enough my nasturtium flowers are finally in full bloom.  My garden at home this year consists of kale, spinach, nasturtiums, rosemary, mint and lavender (and even then I can't really be trusted to weed or water).  

Summer Salad

(serves 2)

This salad makes me think of my grandmother.  She will take iceberg lettuce over 'weeds' anyway so I can hear her saying 'no thank you' (code for I would rather eat my own leg) to this salad.  For those of us who are a little more adventurous this salad is delicious!

Ingredients

4 C mixed greens
*1/4 C spiced nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts)
1/4 C diced dates (approximately 7)
1 orange 
*strawberry vinaigrette
10-15 nasturtium flowers & leaves

Gently rinse greens, nasturtium flowers and leaves (unless you don't mind little critters in your salad bowl).   Add diced dates, spiced nuts, and thinly sliced orange slices.  Drizzle with strawberry vinaigrette.





Strawberry Vinaigrette
(3/4 Cup)

After making some pretty bland salad dressings (and feeding them to dinner guests) I thought I would try something a little more exciting.  I came across an interesting recipe at www.wellpreserved.ca but decided to tweak it a little (any excuse to eat maple syrup, lime juice and sunflower oil).

Ingredients

1 C strawberries
1Tbsp maple syrup (not table syrup)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp sunflower oil
1 tsp poppy seeds

In a small bowl combine strawberries and maple syrup.  Let stand for approximately 1 hour so that the sugar will pull the juices from the berries.

In a blender combine strawberries, maple syrup, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, olive and sunflower oils.  Blend until desired consistency is reached.

Add poppy seeds and enjoy.



Spiced Nuts
(1 C)

Ingredients

1 1/2 tsp earth balance
1 cup nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp chile powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
pinch chipotle powder

Melt earth balance in skillet.

Add nuts and stir until nuts are coated with butter.

Stir in maple syrup until nuts are coated.  Add spices.

Transfer to a baking stone (I covered mine with a silicone mat).   Roast at 300F for 5-10 minutes (watch carefully). 


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