April 24, 2010

Salad #3

Strawberries have been on sale lately...

...so I stocked up and used some of them in a dinnertime salad last week. Their sweet flavor balances the acidity of baby spinach quite nicely. I worried that combining Roma tomatoes and strawberries would be a culinary faux pas--similar crisp-juicy textures, all red--but I found that they went very well together with their varying sweet and tart flavors. Dried cranberries lend a chewy texture that breaks up the near-monotony of the vegetable and berry combination. Chopped cilantro adds a burst of freshness along with the lemon juice.
Feta cheese frequently finds its way into salads at my house: its flavor is unmatched, and using just a small amount will both brighten up a salad and enhance its palatability--it's hard to resist that savory stuff, and with moderation, it's okay not to.

Of course, we must not forget the black pepper--freshly ground over the top of the salad--and a slight sprinkling of coarse salt.

Ah, another salad. So tasty! Such a mosaic of textures and colors! And it's good for you!
Enjoy it as a side dish or the main course.

Salad #3
Estimated preparation time: 20 minutes

(Note: Amounts will vary, based on the number of persons to be served. Use what looks good to you, the chef. Approximations for serving 2-4 people are listed in parentheses below.)
  • Baby spinach (3 large handfuls)
  • Roma tomatoes (3)
  • Strawberries (8)
  • Fresh cilantro (2 tablespoons)
  • Dried cranberries (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Feta cheese, crumbled (1 tablespoon)
  • Coarse salt (1/2 teaspoon or less)
  • Freshly-ground black pepper


1. Place the spinach into a serving bowl.
2. Wash, dry, and halve then slice the Roma tomatoes. Toss them on top of the spinach.
3. Wash, dry, de-stem, and quarter the strawberries. Put them on top of the tomatoes.
4. Rinse and pat dry the cilantro. Chop it into small pieces, and sprinkle it over the salad.
5. Measure the dried cranberries and add them to the salad. 
6. Juice a lemon and sprinkle the desired amount of juice over the salad ingredients.
7. Measure the feta cheese and toss it over the salad.
8. Add a sprinkling of coarse salt and a generous amount (to taste, of course) of freshly-ground black pepper.