Michigan strawberries are just now appearing in markets (Bigelow Berry Farm, Burda’s Berries and Gibbs Berry Farm) and look so pretty with fresh nasturtium flowers (Uhlianuk’s Greenhouse) in this refreshing salad. From “Plum Gorgeous” by Romney Steele.
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
- Pinch sugar
- 2 strawberries
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon or basil
- 1/4 cup grapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups mache
- 2 cups arugula or watercress
- 1 seedless cucumber or 2 small Persian cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced into half-moons
- 1 cup ripe strawberries, quartered
- 1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced and pickled (see Note)
- Handful just-picked nasturtium flowers
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- Ricotta salata or other semi-aged sheep’s milk cheese, for shaving
To make the vinaigrette: Whisk the shallot, vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl. Mash in the strawberries and tarragon and macerate for 5 minutes. Whisk in the oil and water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To assemble the salad: Mix the mache and arugula in a bowl. Add the cucumber and strawberries and toss with vinaigrette to taste. Arrange on plates and scatter with the pickled onions, nasturtiums, and sunflower seeds. Shave the cheese over the tops, then finish each salad with a few twists of fresh black pepper.
Note: To quick-pickle the onion, blanch for 2 minutes in salted boiling water. Drain and place in a shallow bowl. Douse with a little vinegar to just cover and a pinch of sugar. Macerate until lightly pickled, 20 to 30 minutes, or longer to taste. Serves 4.
Per serving: 241 calories; 20 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 75 percent calories from fat); 10 g carbohydrates; 12 mg cholesterol; 156 mg sodium; 7 g protein; 3 g fiber.