Meatless Monday: Spring Salad with Strawberries and Fresh Vegetables

I am a foodie very much driven by cravings.  I shutter to think what my poor husband to be will have to deal with if I am ever pregnant because I am sure this trait will only intensify.  On nights like tonight where my cravings are varied and many, I take the opportunity to experiment with flavor combinations I have not tried before. 

While the backdrop for tonight’s experiment is certainly not original (a salad), the flavor combinations were diverse and new to me.  I decided to go with strawberries, avocado, caramelized onions, and steamed vegetables. I added some firm goat cheese, California Crottin, to be precise, but without it, the salad would still be rich and flavorful.

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Spring Salad with Strawberries and Fresh Vegetables

Salad:

  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 large handful of green beans, trimmed and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 handful of strawberries, stemmed and cut in half
  • 1 avocado
  • Mixed greens
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • goat cheese for crumbling (optional)

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Heat a medium saute pan with some olive oil on medium-low heat. Once the olive oil is hot, add the onion, and continue to saute until soft and golden brown.  While onions are slow cooking, steam the asparagus pieces and green beans, until they are just under done.  Rinse under cold water and put to the side. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients at the bottom of a large salad bowl.  Remove the caramelized onions from heat and add them to the vinaigrette mixture. Add steamed vegetables, strawberries, avocado, mixed greens and toss. Add goat cheese, and ample amounts of salt and pepper.

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Shay and I were both amazed how well the different flavors came together. The white balsamic, with the sweet strawberries, rich caramelized onions, and tart goat cheese complemented each other beautifully. Shay had seconds and then I practically licked the bowl. Embarrassing, I know, but try it, you will too. Hope you enjoy this hodgepodge of ingredients as much as we did.  Until next time, Happy Meatless Monday!

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4 Comments

  1. chris

     /  April 23, 2012

    Sounds great. One of my favorite ways of building a meal is to combine taste opposites, which this does!

    Reply
  2. Grant

     /  April 24, 2012

    I know that this is your Meatless Monday post, but I’ve made very similar salads in the past, and if you don’t mind a bit of meat, and want to add another awesome level of flavor to a salad such as this, a bit of diced bacon tossed into the salad is amazing. I’ve done strawberry, bacon, spinach, red onion, goat cheese, and balsamic before and it’s a great light tasting salad. Also, I’ve found out recently about the amazing combination of strawberries and truffle oil, so if you use a bit of white truffle oil in your vinagrette, I can imagine the salad would really shine!

    Reply
    • Gabrielle Goozee-Nichols

       /  April 27, 2012

      Grant, what a great idea! I love all things truffle and would love to try adding it to the dressing.
      I know what you mean about the bacon addition, as much as this salad would have worked without the cheese, I really enjoyed the slightly salty, tart flavors of it, and I bet bacon would add to the flavor combination beautifully. Thanks for sharing these great ideas!

      Reply
      • Grant

         /  May 3, 2012

        Of course! Cooking has become somewhat of a passion of mine in the last few years (partially connected to my love of fine dining). I just love to try new flavor profiles and combinations. I’m usually great at figuring them out, but one time I made this fish and mushroom dish which was an incredible flop. My (soon-to-be) new toy is a home water bath for sous vide cooking. I can’t wait! (Unfortunately my b-day gift has been out of stock, so it won’t be arrive until June! I have to wait two more months!) I love reading about your cooking here, and to be honest, I do miss a bit of your cheese blogs, and I’m a huge fan of it myself.

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