This salad originated from when we stayed down in Burringbar over a month ago. Lily had dinner the night before with friends and Mia had made a delicious strawberry salad she found on the internet. Lily requested I make something similar for dinner for her folks to go with our eggplant & spinach lasagne. After asking Lily twenty questions about what was in it, do you remember any flavours, we came up with a few of the ingredients. Since then I have been experimenting with adding other ingredients like capers, bacon and feta cheese.
The Sunshine Coast hinterland is dotted with strawberry farms all boasting pick-your-own. Last weekend some of our Brisbane visitors stopped off on the way and brought us their handpicked gems. I am sure that they did eat plenty while out in the field. Strawberries are still in season and are cheap at the moment, so taking advantage of this is something that I am not going to miss.
The dressing is what makes this recipe unique. Vanilla lemon dressing is tart yet sweet just like the strawberries, which complement each other well. It is simple and quick to make and can be stored in your fridge for a couple of weeks. I like to make plenty and have it ready for the next salad. Splash it over your other favourites like; tomato and bocconcini, watermelon and walnut, beetroot and orange salad.
With the days warming up again spring is here on our doorstep. Colourful salads will start reappearing on our tables after the cool winter. Barbecues are going to get dusted off and refired. Flowers will burst with colour. I love this time of year. Everything seems fresh again; the idea of cleaning out the house is appealing. Just like maybe shedding a few kilos before I get back into my cozzie to swim at the beach. This year spring means chickens. Yes we are finally getting organised to build our chicken mansion. By the end of this month I hope to see our seedlings starting to thrive in the garden
Does the start of spring make you do something unusual? It is time to cleanse, clean and get fit?
- 300g mixed salad green – spinach, rocket, lettuce
- 250g punnet of strawberries, cut into halves or quarters
- ¼ cup of toasted almonds
- ½ a cucumber, thinly sliced
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced – optional
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tspn vanilla paste
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- ¼ cup of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (white can substitute)
- Salt and pepper to season
- Arrange the salad leaves on to a large serving plate. Scatter over with strawberries, cucumber, and onion. Sprinkle over the almonds, poppy and sesame seeds.
- To make the dressing, place the vanilla bean paste into a small mixing bowl. Add the oil, lemon juice and sugar. Stir to combine. Taste and then season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
*Dressing keeps really well in the fridge for over a week.