Summer Salad w/ Asian Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

I know you might be thinking that you’d need some type of fancy, expensive slicing gadget to prepare this salad, but think again. All you need is one of ………………..
……………….. these! This may be one of the best investments you make this summer. It makes serving  healthy fresh salads quick and simple. I do own one of those fancy Japanese mandolins, but honestly, this is the weapon I usually choose for making a quick, delicious summer salad.

There are so many fabulous seasonal ingredients out there right now and this salad is very versatile. If you don’t have or don’t like parsnips, feel free to substitute summer squash. zucchini could easily fill in for the green beans. Green, yellow or orange pepper would be delicious instead of the red. Paired with grilled chicken, beef, shrimp or pork, this can become a complete meal. 
Check out the farmer’s market or your local grocer and choose the prettiest, freshest produce you can find. Combine them with delightful vinaigrette and you’ve got a gorgeous, vibrant salad that’s great for brunch, lunch or dinner.
Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you about the dressing – let’s just say it’s wonderful. I’ve been testing and tweaking this one for a while now and I think it’s perfect – sweet, gingery and a bit spicy. A splash of soy sauce and a touch of sesame oil give it an Asian twist. Poppy seeds……………… well, I just think they make a salad super pretty!

Summer Salad w/ Asian Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Ingredients for the vinaigrette:
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
3 tablespoons good quality strawberry jam or preserves (I use my Strawberry Freezer Jam)
1 teaspoon sriracha chili sauce*
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon seame oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Ingredients for the salad:
3-4 ears fresh sweet corn, kernels removed
½ pound super thin green beans (haricot vertes), thinly sliced on a long diagonal
2 medium parsnips*, julienned
2 medium carrots*, julienned
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced vertically
3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
I use the small vegetable peeler/julienner for for of these and it works fantastic. Keep the carrots and parsnips long, don’t try to cut them before julienning. If you cut them, it makes the job very difficult.

1. For the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a glass jar. Shake well.

2. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Divide between six salad plates. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Pass extra dressing at the table.

Serves 6

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