As I mentioned in my strawberry vinegar post, a green salad topped with fresh strawberries is extraordinary, but only in the springtime when it’s strawberry season. Any other time of year it just doesn’t seem right to me. A green salad with strawberries is also very pretty.
It was because of strawberry-topped salads that I was inspired to make a strawberry vinegar. I thought the layered effect of the strawberry-infused balsamic vinegar, along with the ripened strawberries would be a nice complement to greens.
For some crunch, you can add toasted walnuts or pecans, like I did, and crumbled bleu cheese or feta for extra deliciousness. Today I chose feta. I also included avocado slices for protein, plus a few radish slices for even more color. But other than that, I kept the salad simple in order for the ingredients to shine.
If you don’t have a strawberry-infused vinegar, but want to make the salad, I’d keep the dressing simple. No strong-flavored dressings, just oil and vinegar. But you have choices there as well. You can use a good olive oil, like I did, or even a nut oil, like hazelnut or walnut. These oils are not only for autumnal salads because their flavors are mild. Even an orange-infused oil would be good in this salad, since it’s also mild. Vinegar-wise, I’d use a light-flavored vinegar, like a red wine or apple cider variety.
After one week of the fresh strawberries infusing white balsamic vinegar, it was time to decant. I tasted the vinegar first to make sure the flavor was right, and indeed it was. And just like the strawberry vodka I made last strawberry season, the color of the strawberries drained into the vinegar, so it’s really a lovely vinegar to use as well.
If the strawberries hadn’t faded in color so much, I would have used them in a chutney, but they just weren’t pretty enough, as you can see in the above left photograph.
For the salad, I used a butter lettuce – the kind that you can buy with the roots attached. I have some lettuce growing outside, but just not enough yet, thanks to our extended winter. I added the avocado, sliced strawberries, toasted pecans, and then sprinkled the feta on top.
Then I simply drizzled olive oil and the strawberry vinegar on top.
Plus a sprinkle of coarse salt.
You can always add black pepper as well.
Verdict: Fabulous! I will definitely keep making strawberry-infused vinegar and use it on my spring and summer salads. I can imagine it on grilled vegetables as well!