Although it would be hard to me to pick one favorite food, it’s certainly true that salad ranks in the upper echelons for me!………..
……… in fact, if you check out my recipe index there are forty three salads listed, along with thirty one salad dressings/vinaigrettes! So you see, I’m not kidding when I say I LOVE salad! One day at work, a friend looked at my lunch and said “do you always bring salad?” – I hadn’t really thought about it but, yes, probably about ninety percent of the time, my lunch consists of some green, fresh vegetable/fruit concoction. Salad just makes me happy!
All that said, this salad is definitely one of my very favorites! Although I love eating local and seasonal, I haven’t been able to resist the beautiful deep red, fragrant strawberries that have been showing up at my market for the last few weeks. I paired these scarlet gems with some other wonderful fresh produce, tender butter lettuce, vibrantly flavorful cilantro, creamy avocado and delicious edamame beans, loaded with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals (plus I just think they’re so darn cute!). I added a sweet/tangy dressing starring fresh herbs and crowned the salad with my crispy, crunchy Double Roasted Sweet & Salty Pepitas
I love to pair this salad with simple grilled chicken or pork tenderloin, a loaf of crusty bread and some special family/friends – makes for a dinner that’s fun, delicious and……. pretty as a picture!
Butter Lettuce Salad w/ Strawberries, Avocado, Edamame, Double Roasted Sweet/Salty Pepitas & Fresh Basil/Ginger Vinaigrette
6 ounce package butter lettuce
1 cup cilantro leaves* (save the stems for the vinaigrette!)
4 ounces strawberries, sliced in 1/8 inch slices
1 medium ripe avocado, halved, cored, quartered and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 cup edamamae, cooked and cooled (fresh or frozen)
½ cup Double Roasted Sweet & Salty Pepitas
Fresh Basil/Ginger Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
Divide butter lettuce and cilantro leaves between four salad plates. Arrange strawberries, avocados, and edamame over the top of lettuce. Drizzle lightly with dressing and sprinkle with pepitas. Pass extra dressing at the table.
*Unlike parsley, whose stems can be a bit bitter and tough, cilantro stems are loaded with flavor and are quite tender
Fresh Basil/Ginger Vinaigrette
Ingredients:¼ cup rice vinegar
poons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon Sriracha*
½ cup fresh basil, packed
¼ cup fresh cilantrro, packed – can use the stems – they have tons of flavor!
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Process until smooth.
*Sriracha is a delicious condiment that adds a bit of “zip” to dressings, sauces and all kinds of other recipes. On it’s own it is quite spicy but just a little touch of it adds a delicious, mysteriousness – try it, you’ll probably find yourself getting attached to it! 🙂 It’s available in most larger grocery stores in the Asian section – check out the link – its easier to find if you know what to look for.