Welcome to the steamy hot heart of summer! I was feeling like a slacker for being a solid month late in posting this strawberry salad. As with all the rhubarb recipes I meant to post, I thought I’d missed my window. BUT it seems fate and Mother Nature have conspired to make the timing downright perfect. Strawberry season is three weeks late here, thanks to all that June rain (that I missed in CA…#notsorry).
This recipe comes from the fabulous Bevin Wallace’s Real Life Delicious blog and is based on a salad at Vail’s Chophouse. If you can get away with a DIY version of anything in Vail you’re usually $100 ahead of a game, even when it comes to salad. Considering the other revelation that this year is serving up a bumper crop of strawberries, I’d highly encourage you to try this salad. The dressing alone is worth having on hand, and the whole shebang is a great addition to any gathering.
The only slightly labor intensive thing here are the candied pecans. You could of course use some fancy packaged pecans, or simply sub toasted pecans but, c’mon, live a little. It’s salad and it’s summer and as the strawberries will tell you, it’s been a gloomy spring. Time to celebrate!
Summer Strawberry Chopped Salad
- 1/2 lb. pecan pieces (you won’t need a half pound of pecans for the salad, but nobody every complained about having too many candied pecans on hand)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 egg white
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
For the dressing
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 tbs. dijon Mustard
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
- 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
- 2 tbs. honey
- Salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Make the candied pecans: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Whisk egg white and 1 tbs. water together in a separate bowl until frothy. Toss pecans into the egg white mixture. Mix sugar mixture into pecan mixture until pecans are evenly coated. Spread coated pecans onto a baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes, until pecans are evenly browned, about 25 mins. Allow to cool. In the meantime…
Make the dressing: Whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt & pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified.
Make the salad: Tear the lettuce and place in a large (larger than you think you need) bowl. Add the strawberries, avocado, goat cheese, and about 4 oz. of the pecans. Drizzle on the dressing and toss gently.
Want more reason to get fresh berries? Check out these strawberry all stars.