One of the first delicious signs of summer is sweet, juicy strawberries appearing at the grocery stores and farmers markets!
Of course, strawberries are the perfect treats – just eaten out of hand or piled high on shortcake or dipped in chocolate. Yum! But why not get a little savory with your strawberries this year.
Local berries drizzled with balsamic glaze and a few twists of fresh-cracked black pepper make for a perfect balance of sweet and savory.
Wanna try that combo in ice cream? Check out Molly Moon’s ice cream shop for their inspired balsamic strawberry ice cream!
Strawberry & Spinach Salad with sweet walla walla onions, and my Poppy Seed –Ginger Vinaigrette is one of my favorite summer salad recipes. It’s light, refreshing and a great way to use those summer berries for a touch of sweet and tang.
And don’t forget to muddle some in a summer- sipper like in my d’lish Strawberry Shag. It teams lightly-sugared strawberries with fresh basil! Shaken with vodka and lemon juice, this fresh cooler is perfect to start any patio party!
So enjoy some “first of summer” strawberries! –Kathy
Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Sweet Onions and Poppy Seed–Ginger Vinaigrette
You can substitute toasted hazelnuts for the almonds. This salad is also excellent as an entrée salad, topped with grilled chicken cut into strips and dollops of goat cheese.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup light olive oil or other salad oil
2 teaspoons poppy seed
3 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and quartered, or another local berry, such as raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
2 bunches spinach, stemmed, washed well, and spun dry (8 to 10 cups)
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet white onion, such as a Walla Walla Sweet
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
To make the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, ginger, mustard, honey, sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, emulsifying the vinaigrette. Stir in the poppy seed. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.
To make the salad, toss the berries, spinach, and onion with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with almonds.
Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books.
(Photo from Kathy Casey’s Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books – Angie Norwood Browne)
Fresh basil lends a fun flavor note to the classic combination of strawberries and lemonade. Soda water introduces a lively sparkle.
Makes 1 drink
1 to 2 large sprigs fresh basil
1/4 cup Sugared Strawberries with juice (recipe follows)
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 ounces chilled soda water
Small basil leaf
In a cocktail shaker, press the basil and strawberries together with a muddler to release the basil’s flavor. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the vodka and lemon juice. Cap and shake vigorously. Pour into a large glass, top with soda water, and stir. Garnish with a strawberry and basil leaf.
Makes enough for about 6 drinks
1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Mix the ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes before using.
Recipe from Kathy Casey Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books