A perfect taste of spring
Strawberry season is here, the time when local farmers harvest sweet berries grown for their taste, not their ability to stand up to cross-country shipping.
Why not put them to the best use? Eat them plain, or add them to a salad that’s bursting with spring flavors.
I first tried a strawberry, arugula and spinach salad while subscribing to a community-supported agriculture program a couple of years ago. Arugula and spinach were weekly standards in the bag, and I wanted a fresh way to serve them. It’s become a favorite spring treat, when the greens and berries are at their best.
The mild bitterness of spinach and arugula is nicely offset by the sweetness of the berries. The vinegar adds enough sweetness to compensate if you are using strawberries from the supermarket, which are often tart and lacking in flavor. (They’re bred for shipping ability, not taste.)
You can find the main ingredients at many farmers markets through late spring, as well as in grocery stores.
Spinach and Arugula Salad With Strawberries
Makes four servings
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups arugula leaves, stems removed
1 cup sliced strawberries
Freshly ground pepper
Add the red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and salt to a salad bowl, then gradually add the oil, whisking constantly, until the dressing has come together and is emulsified.
Add the spinach and arugula to the vinaigrette and toss gently, using a lifting motion. When the greens are lightly coated, place on salad plates, top with the strawberries and finish with a generous grinding of pepper. – From “Cooking at Home With the Culinary Institute of America” (Wiley, 2003)