We’re bursting out with spring all over here, and the Ozark region’s first strawberries are coming into season. When I was growing up, we had strawberries most often served over pound cake, which we called “strawberry shortcake.” (I know people in other regions of the country use sweetened biscuits for a dessert by the same name.) A lot of people hear strawberries and think dessert, but unsweetened strawberries go as well with savory dishes like salads as do tomatoes. Tonight we had a big salad of baby greens, herbs (chervil, chive blossoms), and root vegetables (sliced carrots and radishes) from our garden,and sliced strawberries. We topped everything off with a simple strawberry vinaigrette.
Here’s the salad on its own. Can you spot the lime green lettuce called Black Seeded Simpson? the endive? how about the little purple chive blossoms? and the carrots and radishes? and, of course, the strawberry slices?
Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette: about 4 generous servings
- 1/4 cup chopped strawberries
- 1 tablespoon good olive oil (try 2 tablespoons if 1 doesn’t seem like enough)
- 1-2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon prepared hearty brown mustard
Blend everything until the strawberries are processed and the mixture is bright pink. Oh, yes, this dressing is bright pink! It might work well for a bridesmaids luncheon. My husband made fun of the color until he tasted it. Then he ate a spoonful by itself. And then he had another spoonful. I think he liked it.
I served this salad with more seasonal favorites: asparagus and smoked salmon with whole-grain penne pasta, finished with fresh local cream and a little non-local lemon zest; braised local snow peas; and for dessert more organic, local strawberries, garnished with a tiny scoop of ice cream.
What seasonal favorites do you look forward to each spring? Do you have any family traditions for strawberries?
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