I realized after Angie wrote a comment asking for more summer salads, that though I eat a salad at least once a day, and often twice a.) I forget to take pictures or b.) they aren’t necessarily planned out (technically any veggies on a plate with dressing could be called a salad.) c.) I make them without necessarily paying attention to the harmony of the flavors (I mean, is there really such thing as a bad salad?) d.) I worry that they aren’t fancy enough to post. Then it dawned on me that I read other food bloggers salad recipes for the inspiration to get out of my salad ruts, and that food doesn’t have to be ‘fancy’ or even necessarily ‘exotic’ to be delicious.
I had decided yesterday to slow roast (8 hours) an 8 lb pork shoulder (more about that on Monday) so I knew I was going to be up very early and was excited to be the early bird at the farmers market. This is worth mentioning because I am not a morning person, repeat not a morning person. People know to approach me very carefully if it is before 10:30. I don’t mean to be hostile, truly I don’t, but it’s like I can’t help myself.
I pedal my way to the market hoping the endorphins will take the edge of my morning grump all the while marveling at how quiet it was in the East Village that time of day. The minute I walked into the sunlight speckled shade of the calm market my spirit lifted. I felt a smile creep across my face, and my eyes were already beginning to register the beautiful shades of red heirloom tomatoes, bright kelly green zucchini and various eggplant purples. All the veggies were still perky and the vendors were extra friendly, not that I’ve ever had anyone be mean to me, everyone was just still so fresh. I saw a table full of late season strawberries and I knew I wanted to use them in a salad. I love the classic combination of the sweet yet somehow slightly tart strawberry with the buttery cool taste of the avocado. I added the yellow plum tomato for a little acid and who are we kidding, color, and the scallions for a little bite and balance. This salad was pretty to look at and delicious to eat.
Strawberry and Avocado Salad with Creamy French Dressing
Serves 2 as an entrée, 4 as a side
½ head of Boston butter lettuce chopped
1 large yellow plum tomato, 2 if they are small, thinly sliced
1 avocado cubed
½ pint of strawberries sliced
2 scallions thinly sliced
Once everything is cut up, place in bowl and toss.
Creamy French Dressing
5 tablespoon white wine vinegar
4 oz crème fraiche
2 tablespoons country Dijon mustard
11 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
Blend together the white wine vinegar, crème fraiche and mustard. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking, once blended add salt and pepper. This recipe yields more than you will need for the salad, but it keeps pretty well in the fridge, for at least 4 days, you can cut the recipe in ½ if you want. I just drizzled the dressing over the salad, rather than tossing the salad in the dressing.