My midwestern summer has been severely stunted. I’ve planted at least three times because: SNOW IN MAY?!??! But hopefully things are on the right track now. Snap peas are poking their little green heads out of the soil, and I’ve even got some strawberries that look like they might ripen any day. But, thankfully, I’ve also got the grocery store and I’ve been stocking up of fresh, juicy pints of organic strawberries almost every single day.
I use strawberries in a million ways, from ice cream to barbeque sauce, but I really really love strawberry salads, especially when the little guys are at their ripest. The berries take to tangy ingredients so beautifully, their aromatic sweetness providing a perfect balance. I love this simple salad with mâche, which, if you’ve never had it, is a velvetty salad green with a complex flavor; earthy, nutty, grassy and peppery all at once! It’s pronounced like “mosh” for all you punks, and sometimes it’s called “corn salad” or “lamb’s lettuce.” I know that gardens and CSA boxes are overflowing with mâche this time of year, and I was even able to purchase some at my local Whole Foods.
The end result is dizzyingly delicious with the addition of fresh basil and toasted almonds. If you’ve never strawberried a salad, now is the time.
~ If you can’t find any mâche, then a spinach/arugula mix would be really nice, too.
~ I love the look and texture of whole grain mustard in the dressing, but some regular old dijon would be just as delicious!
For the dressing:
1 clove garlic, microplaned or minced to a paste
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Fresh black pepper
For the salad:
1/2 cup slivered almonds
4 oz mâche
12 oz strawberries, stems removed, berries quartered
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
10 basil leaves, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
To make the dressing, just mix all of the ingredients together in a little bowl.
Next, toast the almonds. Preheat a small pan over medium low heat. Toast for about 5 minutes, tossing frequently, until honey brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble salad, In a large mixing bowl, toss together mâche, strawberries and red onion. Add the dressing, and toss to coat. Top with almonds and basil, and serve!
“Article originally published on (http://www.isachandra.com/2013/05/strawberry-mache-salad/ )”