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Friday, June 1, 2012

Food Recipe: Strawberry and Arugula Salad

Here's an online recipe of one of Chris' favorite salads, especially during the hot summer days when strawberries are in season and he's lounging around in his underwear in front of the A/C, not wanting to turn on the oven.  A few changes were made with the dressing since the original called for drizzling the oil and vinegar over the salad instead of making a vinaigrette.  With the exception of the oil and vinegar, it's best to use cold ingredients, that way you don't end up eating a warm salad (which is for a different podcast).  Having the balsamic vinegar and oil at room temperature will also help with the emulsion process when whisking away.  Enjoy!


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of sliced red onions
  • 4 cups baby arugula, or torn arugula leaves
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 of a cup of extra-virgin olive oil
Directions:
1. In a bowl, combine walnuts, red onions, arugula and strawberries.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil until well incorporated and smooth.  Add salt and pepper to the vinaigrette, dip an arugula to see if you need more salt or pepper.

3. Once seasoned, pour the vinaigrette immediately over the salad and toss to evenly coat every bite.  Serve on a chilled plate and sprinkle with the crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.

Notes:
- For another layer of flavor, toast the walnuts in a small saute pan over medium heat until they're a light golden brown.  Allow the nuts to cool before incorporating them into the salad.
- Gorgonzola cheese can be substituted with blue cheese, goat cheese or even Parmesan.
- Spinach can be added or used in place of the arugula, just make sure you wash all greens before preparation.
- It's best to start off with 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar when making your vinaigrette.  If you prefer more vinegar or think the vinaigrette is too oily or heavy, add more balsamic vinegar in tablespoon increments.
 
And her is our very own Christopher Nieto enjoying strawberry beer and sparkling strawberry wine at this year's Oxnard California Strawberry Festival!  Sorry Lautering Bytes fans, the police confiscated the after pictures.



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