Strawberry Summer Greens

fullsizeoutput_3ec2As much as I hate the heat, I have to hand it to summer for producing the best fruits and vegetables during the sweltering months of June through September. In my hometown of Fresno, CA we experience the kind of heat where you risk getting third degree burns from touching your steering wheel if you leave your car in the sun for too long. Yet, in spite of the heat, the quality of our produce is unparalleled – something I took for granted until I moved to Dallas for school. As soon as I got back this summer, I immediately stocked up on the strawberries, which are without a doubt, the most consistently ripe fruit you can find at our local Whole Foods. I toss them in everything from greek yogurt to lemon sorbet, and of course, in salads.

This salad is refreshingly light and bright, making a perfect starter to a summer barbecue or an equally great entree on its own. What’s not to love about strawberries and avocado tossed in a lemon dijon vinaigrette?! My mom and I eat this salad on repeat and the best part is that it’s so simple to make!

Ingredients:

  • Mixed salad greens of choice (I love a blend of spinach, Swiss chard, and arugula)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple julienned
  • 1/3 cup glazed pistachios (get the recipe here)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta

For the lemon dijon vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (roughly 3-4 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Preparation:

  1. Begin by preparing the lemon dijon vinaigrette. Peel and mince one clove of garlic and add to a blender or food processor. Measure out and add in the remaining ingredients (reserving the S+P). Pulse for about a minute, or until all ingredients are emulsified. It should have a butter/pale yellow color and smooth, thin consistency. Mix in the salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready for use.
  2. Wash off the salad greens and add to a large salad bowl.
  3. Next, prepare the apple, strawberries and avocado. Start by cutting the apple in half. Taking one half, lay the half face-down and being cutting thin slices from top to bottom. Stack the slices and cut through the stack forming thin, uniform strips of apple. Set aside. Take the measured cup of strawberries and halve and thinly slice these before setting them aside as well. With the avocado, use a spoon to scoop out both halves and dice each half into uniform chunks. Toss all three ingredients in with the greens into the salad bowl.
  4. Take the dressing out the refrigerator and pour the first half of the contents into the bowl. This ensures that the salad doesn’t become soggy from being overdressed. You can then add as much of the remaining dressing as wished and reserve any extra dressing for a week.
  5. Top each individual portion of the salad with the feta and pistachios. This helps avoid the toppings from falling to the bottom of the salad bowl before serving.

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