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Author Notes: 7/15/14 Email to kids, from momz:
"Ever since one of the Skokie Valley Skating Club dance weekend's Saturday banquets, I wanted to find a great strawberry/greens/candied walnut salad. None of the recipes I could find seemed to use strawberries more than as just a token garnish...until I came across this "ideas in food (http://blog.ideasinfood.com/ideas_in_food/) idea: mix sorrel and strawberries, add olive oil and salt and toss roughly (no acid of any kind). The strawberries release juice, the sorrel wilts. That was what all the other recipes were missing--real integration of the strawberry into the salad.
I thought it was a genius base but not quite enough to meet my "fantasy" strawberry and salad image. So I went to my collected salad-with-strawberries recipes from the web files and added some stuff that sounded promising: super-thin sliced red onion, soft goat cheese, balsamic, and used something called "power mix" for the greens. I didn't get the idea far enough in advance of the meal to make candied walnuts, but there are plenty of recipes on file to try next time.
Our guests went bonkers over the salad. Even daddy ate it...onions, goat cheese and all...and loved it!
I've only made this once, and it's not my usual measured ingredient list, but I think it will produce great results within the range of your personal tastes. The brief rough toss technique is key."
Makes as much as you want
- any combination of fresh herbs and baby greens*
- very ripe fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
- olive oil (don't be too heavy handed, just enough to lightly coat)**
- sea salt
- very thin slices of red onions (use a mandoline at the thinnest setting), cut in half
- balsamic vinegar**
- soft goat cheese
- fresh grinds of black pepper (optional)
- * arugula, sorrel, herb mix, power mix, baby spinach, spring mix, etc. (soft stuff) ** dressing the salad is more olive oil than usual with balsamic for flavoring This salad is slightly wilted using an unusual method and non-traditional dressing proportions.
- Put as much green stuff as you plan to eat in a bowl large enough to freely toss the salad (it's best eaten fresh--leftovers won't keep well).
- Working directly over the greens, halve the small strawberries and quarter the large directly into the bowl.
- Add the red onion slices.
- At the last minute before serving drizzle the greens and strawberries with olive oil and season with salt.
- Now roughly (don't be gentle), but briefly, toss to cover greens and berries with salt and oil. The strawberries will release juice and the greens and thin onion slices will start to wilt.
- Next, to your taste, drizzle with balsamic. The ratio should be high oil to low vinegar (at least 4 or more to 1).
- Quickly distribute among plates (adjust strawberries as equitably as possible). Break off pieces of the goat cheese and scatter lightly over each salad. Add grinds of black pepper to taste, if desired.
- As you mix and eat the salad the goat cheese goes all melt-y into the strawberry dressing.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Berry Recipe