There are many great things about living in Atlanta. Being surrounded by Top Chef superstars and not sharing my residence with 65 teenage girls are both at the top of my list, but another benefit of being in the dirty south is that spring and summer vegetables are ready to be harvested a little bit earlier here than back up in Virginia. I feel spoiled already having access to summer veggies, like asparagus and snow peas, so early in the season. In the last couple of weeks I’ve even been the beneficiary of beautiful strawberries from Woodland Gardens in Winterville, Georgia. After enjoying these bites of goodness, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to purchase strawberries in the grocery store ever again. I had no idea that strawberries could be so fragrant. My entire kitchen smells of this fruit when left on the counter for an afternoon.
I could eat these strawberries by the pint. It’s a shame they’re so pretty, only to be devoured by me. I’ve been finding as many different ways as possible to use my strawberries. There have even been days where I’ve managed to consume them at each meal: on my cereal at breakfast, mixed with yogurt and granola at lunch, in my salad at dinner, finished off with strawberry cobbler for dessert.
Yes, I said strawberries in salad. For people like my brother, who work hard to keep everything on their plate from touching, the following recipe might not make your mouth water at first glance, but I promise…If you haven’t tried this yet, you must. A great side dish that will make your plate beautiful. I’ve been using fresh arugula because the sweetness of the strawberries goes perfectly with the ‘bite’ from the arugula. Of course the goat cheese, sunflower seeds and homemade dressing provide added flavor and texture to the salad. The final combination creates a perfect mix of salty and sweet.
Strawberry Arugula salad (Serves 4)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Bunch of fresh arugula
- Goat cheese
- Sunflower seeds
- Fresh strawberries, chopped or sliced
Combine ingredients for dressing in a bowl and whisk. Set aside. On individual salad plates assemble your salad. Use the arugula as your base and top with strawberries, clumps of goat cheese and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Drizzle with salad dressing. If you want to toss all of ingredients in a large bowl, you can. It doesn’t look as pretty but tastes just as delicious.