It must be so funny to those of you in seriously warmer climates when folks like me - from a not particularly warm climate - talk about the heat. I know. It's so silly. But we're really just not equipped for it. The number of days that we really even require a fan I can count on one hand (yesterday and today are two of them!). But you'll never find me complaining about summer heat, given our loooong winters and the infrequency of the (relative) uncomfortable humidity - I love this season. And I love the slower pace that it brings to our days as we rest often, hydrate frequently, and seek shade and water. Oh the water! Thank goodness there is plenty of that all around us. Lake, pond, river and ocean.
But cooking on such days....well, that I'm not a fan of. Our house stays quite cool - those farmers two hundred years ago knew just what they were doing when they positioned this old house in the way of the sun that it is. Still, turning on the kitchen oven on the hottest of days is just no fun. Thank goodness there is plenty of green (and red!) coming from the garden these days. And so salads, in all shapes and sizes and variations, become a favorite. In the interest of not forgetting just what I did last night (because we all loved it so), I thought I'd write it down here, for you too. It isn't very fussy and practically made itself, but it was very yummy and enjoyed by all. Maybe you'll like it too.
Strawberry Salad & Balsamic Vinegrette
For the salad:
Mixed greens - red lettuce, green lettuce, and spinach is what I had on hand
blanched and slivered almonds, or sliced almonds
For the dressing:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 TBSP honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
To make the maple sugared almonds, use approximately 1 cup almonds to one tablespoon of syrup. Toss together to coat almonds well. Toast on a cast iron pan over medium until it thickens but before they brown too much! Cool on wax or parchment paper. Set aside until ready for topping the salad.
To make the dressing, combine garlic, salt, pepper, honey and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and whisk well. Slowly add the olive oil until combined.
And to make the salad, put it all together. (I do keep the dressing on the side for folks to people to add as they wish.)
(Plus hard boiled egg and green smoothie? It worked for breakfast too!)