Strawberry Sun Salad

After I found this list of the top things to buy organic, I zeroed in on strawberries and started craving them – probably because my subconscious knew it was too early to find them in the farmers market (not that it didn’t keep me from looking!)

Two weekends ago, I caved and bought strawberries from Big Organic California, diced them with avocadoes, cilantro and onion, tossed them with lime juice and dug in with tortilla chips (inspired by a Cooking Light recipe).

But this weekend, I found true ruby treasure, the first local pick of the season, arriving in Park Slope from southern New Jersey. They are small and sweet and perfect for a salad. (Or a snack, or dessert, or breakfast, or…) I wondered the market for a bit, until I had gathered the main ingredients for the below.

Strawberry Sun Salad

2/3 cup inexpensive balsamic vinegar
1½ pints or 3 cups of ripe strawberries
¼ lb (or 4-5 cups) sunflower shoots, rinsed (Evolutionary Organics)
1 cup red leaf romaine, julienned
1-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
4-5 oz feta cheese (such as Lynnhaven goat)
kosher salt

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

Reduce balsamic to roughly ¼ cup by simmering over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool. Set aside

Pick over strawberries, slice off tops and sliced into bite size pieces. (I like the tiny strawberries because then I only have to remove the tops.) Crumble the majority of the feta over the strawberries, but reserve an ounce or two for garnish.

Combine sunflower shoots and romaine in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss. (You don’t need pepper; the sunflower shoots supply plenty peppery flavor all by themselves) Add strawberry and cheese mixture to greens. Toss and dish onto plates. Crumble remaining cheese and sprinkle pine nuts over plates. Drizzle reduced balsamic in thin stripes over salad. Serve.

picture by Olga Gerasimova, via Dreamstime

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