The only thing you should do with something as perfect as spring’s first strawberry is pop it in your mouth. And today, at the market, I ran into some friends who were swinging a pail with strawberries from their garden. They let me plunder a bit, saying they had already had plenty. And so standing there in the pasta aisle, I closed my mouth on a little heart-shaped globe that bled warm sweetness with each bite. Spring is my favorite season, and the first strawberry is one of the reasons why. Ahhhh, friends who will share their berries are good friends indeed.
But should you be so lucky to have an abundance of strawberries, and you are ready to branch out a little, this is one of my favorite salads. I wait all year to make it each June.
And since this week is the start of our local strawberry season, I thought would share it with you. I prefer Boston lettuce for this salad. Its succulence and sweetness go well with the strawberries and the basil gives you all the contrast and depth of flavor you need. I used a green leaf lettuce this week, because that’s what came in my farm share. It was a little bitter and crinkly for this salad, but it was still awfully good. Enjoy.
Boston lettuce is the best for this salad, but use whatever you have that is freshest and least bitter. (about 4-5 cups, ripped in to bite-sized pieces.)
About 15 strawberries, sliced length wise so they make hearts
About 3 – 4 tablespoons soft cherve, crumbled
About 7 -10 basil leaves cut into ribbons
Good olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Put the lettuce leaves in a big salad bowl with the basil and toss. Drizzle the leaves with olive oil; toss till everything is nicely coated. Add a small amount of balsamic vinegar (1/2 a cap to start). Toss and adjust to taste. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then add the strawberries. Toss again. Then put the salad on the serving plates and top with crumbled goat cheese.
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