Spring and summer are prime time for salads with fresh, local ingredients. That first weekend when you spy rows of boxes filled with ripe, red strawberries, it’s the best. You can’t help but buy some – and if you’re like me, they’re gone before you know it. And, as fantastic as eating strawberries on their own is, if you want a really delicious salad with a little bit of sweetness, save a few! Also be sure to store them properly, too. In an airtight container with a flat bottom, add a paper (or cloth) towel and gently place the berries in a single layer in the container. Important bit: do not wash your strawberries until you plan to use/eat them.
Now, this kind of salad lets you be creative and also use ingredients you like to make it your own. On the day I bought my strawberries, it was also the first week of fresh peas at the market. Farmer Tom McCarthy (at Waverly on Saturday and JFX on Sunday) is famous for his fresh shelled peas – just look for the long line and get in that long line. It’s worth a short wait. And, his strawberries are always fantastic, too, so get those from him, too. Needless to say, I bought a few pounds of peas, thinking they’d go nicely in my salad and also in pasta with asparagus and mint, sautéed with butter and more.
For this salad, I also added some red skinned peanuts for texture and thinly sliced radishes for a little bite.
(recipe by Ina Garten)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
3 TBSP white wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
½ cup olive oil
In a medium bowl, whisk mustard, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the bowl, whisking until it emulsifies. (You can very easily double this recipe to have dressing on hand.)
4-5 cups of arugula
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup raw fresh peas
3 radishes, sliced thinly
½ cup peanuts (hazelnuts or walnuts would be good, too)
Assemble salad ingredients in large bowl and mix with dressing sparingly or serve on plates and let everyone dress their own salads.