|Pine Nuts and Parmesan Add Contrast|
Recipe by Robin
We’re in the time that old-timers call the dog days of summer: hot, sultry days that are noticeably shorter than June’s. It’s the final hurrah, the wrap-up of summer, a time to appreciate being outdoors in shorts and sandals, sitting around the yard relaxing, tending the garden, or heading to the beach for some sun and fun. Cooking elaborate dinners in a hot kitchen? Not so much.
|Simple Salad Ingredients|
I used agave syrup as sweetener in the dressing, because it’s a thin liquid that blends easily. You could substitute sugar or honey, which will be a bit more work to blend in. You might want to heat up the honey till it’s as thin as possible. Just be sure that the dressing is at room temperature or below when you dress the salad.
|Lining Bowl with Strawberries|
You can cut this recipe in half to serve 4 – 5. Use 1 pint (or a little more) of strawberries and 6 cups mixed greens. Use a couple of pinches of pepper in the dressing, or to taste.
serves 8 – 10
1 large bunch arugula
2 bunches spinach
2/3 cup pine nuts
3 oz. parmesan cheese
~2 pint strawberries
4 tbsp. (¼ cup) aged balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. agave syrup
4 tbsp. fruity olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Prepare the spinach and arugula well enough in advance to dry thoroughly. Wash, remove tough stems, and spin. Let dry completely, then tear into bite-size leaves and toss together. You should have about 12 cups total. Chill.
Toast the pine nuts in a no-stick or cast iron pan over medium low heat until slightly brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove immediately to plate and allow to cool completely.
Microplane the parmesan cheese, or grate on coarsest side of box grater.
Hull the strawberries and slice thinly. You will have about 4 cups. Line a medium glass or plastic salad bowl with strawberries as far up the edge as you can. Add mixed greens to bowl. Continue adding strawberries along the bowl’s edge, saving some for the top.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts over top of greens. Top with reserved strawberries. Chill until serving time.
Prepare the dressing by whisking together balsamic vinegar, agave syrup, salt, and pepper until well blended. Whisk in the olive oil till emulsified.
Dress and toss the salad just before serving.