Strawberry Summer Salad
Strawberry Summer Salad
Strawberries are my favourite summer fruit, when they are in season and ready to be picked I try to get as many as possible. There are so many ways to use them in recipes when you bring them home (if they make it home), and they are so easy to cut and freeze for later uses or in smoothies. Luckily for me, there is a fresh-pick farm close by @Ruby Berry Farm, where you can go for a while and pick your own, or buy them pre-picked.
Another amazing element to this salad is that the ‘spring mix’ pictured is actually a lettuce variety that I’ve used from my organic garden. I started gardening about four years ago and it has been a learning process and a labour of love. I am still learning new tricks and tips for specific vegetable varieties and how to improve my crop. The organic component has been a bone of contention in our household as Brian would prefer to fertilize and get the max crop possible, whereas I would rather give the garden time, and not use any insecticides, fertilizers, or any chemicals that may alter the produce. It has taken time to work the soil and add in organic fertilizer such as manure and organic compost (leaves, grass clippings, etc), but, it has been well worth it!
In my garden I typically have a wide range of produce growing, but my staple vegetables/fruits are: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes, varieties of squash, onions, zucchinis and pumpkins. I have experimented with other vegetables, and this year I am trying watermelon and cantaloupe. Stay tuned for my DIY gardening post, coming soon. So not only is the lettuce from my garden, but so is the cucumber! I try to eat local and support local as much as possible, so feeding our family and eating from our veggie garden fills my heart with joy! I feel so grateful to have the option to grow right here in our backyard, and share with family and friends!
I also need to rave about the peanuts featured in this salad. In the spring while we were visiting Brian’s mother in the Niagara region, she brought us to a place called @Picard Peanuts. I can’t believe I had never heard of the “Home of the Canadian Peanut”. Check out their website for more information on these Ontario grown peanuts. So we went into the storefront and purchased several varieties of peanuts, chip nuts (potato-covered peanut), and specialty nuts. My favourites are the Chili and Lime Chipnut, the Salted peanut, and the Bavarian Beernuts (featured in this salad). They have four store locations in Southern Ontario, if you’re in the area, definitely check them out!
But, back to the salad! I find with the hot summer weather I crave lighter foods, and salad is the perfect answer (not to mention it’s quite healthy for you). I think my all-time (pretty healthy) go-to salad in the summer is this one, it’s light and sweet and pairs perfectly with a grilled chicken breast, salmon skewer, or tofu. Not only is this salad delicious, but it’s easy to make with dinner, take it for lunch or bring it as your dish in a potluck. The quantities of each of the ingredients can be altered to your preference, and some can even be switched for your enjoyment. But checkout my favourite combination below.
- Spring Mix
- Candied Nuts
- Goat Cheese (President's Choice Soft Unripened Goat's Milk Cheese)
- President's Choice Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
As I mentioned earlier, the quantity of each is your call!
For this post I tried to get fancy and create a strawberry rose. I’m not sure where I had seen it before, but I wanted to dress up the salad for the picture. I figured this gave me the perfect reason to try it out. After searching a couple videos, and eating a few unsuccessful roses, I found this video. I found it was the most detailed, easy to follow and yielded the best results for me. Could be great once I master it for fruit trays, fancy brunches and for a cute twist in my kiddo’s lunches (once we get there haha).
I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we do! It has been a big hit in our household and guests love it!