I am surrounded by the verdant green of spring. I have to say that this is my favorite season. After living with the long months of cold weather and the endless brown of dormant grass and the nakedness of the deciduous trees, the color of the new leaves and grass dazzle me. We’ve enjoyed flashes of blue from all the bluebirds that visit; and the iridescent green, red, and white of hummingbirds at rest on our feeders. Today I noticed my tiny lilac bush is in bloom!
This is the third year that I am the proud owner of my very own vegetable garden. The morning sun found me outside harvesting my first crop of fancy lettuces. The deer haven’t eaten all the broccoli sprouts, and the jalapeño pepper plants and tomato plants are growing nicely. The bush and pole beans are just shaking off their cotyledons.
I decided to make a salad for lunch inspired by my friend, April. This salad is new to me because I’ve never put strawberries or sugared nuts into my salads. In my house, strawberries are eaten with chocolate or sugar or just plain fresh from the farm on the other side of the woods. We bake cakes, cupcakes, and tarts with them, and devour every crumb ourselves. I can’t tell you how many sweets I’ve made with the intention of bringing them over to a neighbor’s only to have my family gobble them up. Anyway, back to the salad. My friend, April, is an amazing cook and you can find her over at http://www.wowisaflavor.com. This however is my version of this delicious salad.
Strawberry Feta Salad
Enough lettuce to feed your ohana (family–for those unfamiliar with Disney’s Lilo and Stitch), I use about 8 cups
1/4 cup sugared almonds, or more if you love almonds
I estimate 3-5 strawberries per person
crumbled bacon, I use 2 strips of bacon per person
about 1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled by you
Note: Each of us have a preference for different veggies in our salads, so I keep salad fixings in the fridge and whenever I prepare a salad for the whole family I top each family member’s salad with the veggies they prefer. The salad in the picture happens to be mine. I added grape tomatoes, broccoli, and carrots.
I toss the lettuce and almonds with balsamic vinaigrette: 2 T extra virgin olive oil, 2 T balsamic vinegar (less if you don’t like it), 1 T Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Then throw everything else in and give it a toss. Depending on the ripeness of your berries, you may want to give them a toss in some sugar. I find the sugar from the almonds and the sweetness from berries really counter the tang in the balsamic vinegar. The feta smoothes everything out. We serve a salad like this as a meal in itself, so this recipe serves four as a meal and probably eight to twelve as a side salad. I hope you enjoy this! My family did–even the teenage boy who doesn’t eat salad!