Monday, June 25, 2012

Red, White and Blue Salad

I couldn't let the Fourth of July pass by without telling you about this salad.  You might need to make something for a picnic at the lake or a BBQ in the backyard, and this could be just the thing...you're welcome!

A few weeks ago when the Native Plant Society had their annual auction and picnic in Greensboro, I googled summer salads and came up with this:  Strawberry and Feta Salad at allrecipes.com.   I tweaked it a bit (Are you that kind of cook, too?) and came up with this pretty version of fantastic deliciousness to take to the picnic:

Red, White and Blue Salad

1 bag mixed baby greens (any mix you like)
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 half-pint fresh blueberries
1 cup feta cheese, cut into small cubes -- it's less messy-looking than crumbled, but either is fine.
1/2 - 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Dressing:
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil

For the dressing -- which is the very best part -- just mix all the ingredients in a jar and shake.  I like to crush the garlic rather than mince it; the garlic flavor is more mellow that way.  Pull the whole clove out before serving, so no one bites into it later.

For the salad, layer all the items...lettuce on the bottom is my only advice. ;)  Oh, and don't dress the salad until you're ready to serve it because the lettuce will wilt.

Isn't it pretty all red, white and blue?  Trust me, you are going to love it!  It's sooo, so good...just full of wonderful flavor--not to mention healthy goodness!

~*~  

Red, White and Blue Salad has a much wider assortment of plant material than you probably imagine--you were imagining, right?  Go ahead and indulge your geeky inner botanist and consider this while you're slicing strawberries and combining ingredients:  at least 16 species of plants and fungi create the fab flavor of this simple salad!  

The obvious:  strawberry (Fragaria ananassa, Rosaceae), blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum, Ericaceae), almond (Prunus dulcis, Rosaceae), several baby greens--lettuce (Lactuca sativa, Asteraceae), arugula (Eruca sativa, Brassicaceae) and beet (Beta vulgaris, Chenopodiaceae).

Less obvious (the dressing):  garlic (Alium sativum, Liliaceae), raspberry (Rubus hyb., Rosaceae), mustard (Brassica juncea, Brassicaceae), horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, Brassicaceae), grape (Vitis vinifera, Vitaceae), sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum, Poaceae), rapeseed (Brassica napus, Brassicaceae), black pepper (Piper nigrum, Piperaceae), various unidentified flower nectars in the honey, and some unnamed spices in the mustard.

And, let's not forget the fungi in the vinegar or the wine (an ingredient in the Dijon mustard).  Of course you could add sunflower seeds or dried cranberries, which are very tasty additions, and which would add even more botanical diversity to your already wondrous salad.

~*~

Have a very happy Fourth, and enjoy your new favorite salad!  
~ Daricia

4 comments:

  1. This looks really good. Love the fresh berries in a salad, really adds brightness! Will give this a try!

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  2. I am hungry all over again! I love putting fruit in salad! I am always looking for a new salad recipe and especially homemade dressing! Have a great Independence Day too!

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  3. That looks delicious! I love adding berries into salads, and the dressing sounds scrumptious! Thanks for sharing! (And my geeky inner botanist loves that you listed all of the plants involved in making this yummy treat!)

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  4. Nice analysis of one of our favorite salads. We use baby spinach or arugula for the greens and a poppy seed dressing. Yum!

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