Monday, March 10, 2008

Strawberry Seduction!

Mike over at Mike’s Table has been seduced and obsessed with strawberries the past few weeks. So much so that he decided to make an event of it! So as a fellow Floridian, I am thrilled to join Mike in his obsession. Yes folks, the strawberries abound in Florida right now at a bargain price of 3 pounds for $5.00! Who could resist that price! So the past few weeks I have added strawberries to just about anything that would take them!
I think the first thing that comes to mind when you here the word strawberry is dessert and chocolate. Figuring that is what will be flooding Mike’s event, I chose to go a little different route and bring to Mike’s party a

“Spinach Salad With Strawberries & Brown Buttered Pecans”

This salad is so simple to prepare and so delicious that you could serve it as a dessert!

Get yourself:
A bag or box of fresh baby spinach
1 head of Boston bib lettuce
1 pint of fresh strawberries sliced
About a ½ of cup of pecans
A good glob of butter

For the vinaigrette:
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar or balsamic vinegar (actually at the store the other day I bought a bottle of a combination of the two that is simply marvelous!)
About a teaspoon of honey – if you use the plain raspberry vinegar you may want to add a bit more. It is a taste thing.
1-2 finely minced shallots
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
Olive oil – add till you get a good mix
Salt and pepper to taste

Put your glob of butter in a small sauté pan, heat till just turning brown, add your pecans, stir for a few moments and turn off the heat. Be careful and do not burn your pecans.
For the vinaigrette put the first four ingredients in a bowl and mix, add olive oil in a slow stream till you get a good mix.

Now there are two ways that you can serve this salad.
One way is to add your spinach to a big bowl and tear your bib lettuce to about the same size as your spinach and toss together. Add your vinaigrette, saving a touch to pour over the top of the salad. Plate your salad and then sprinkle the strawberries and pecans atop, then drizzle a bit more dressing over the strawberries and pecans and serve.

The second way you can present the salad is to put whole bib lettuce leaves on a salad plate, put your dressed spinach atop, then top with your strawberries and pecans. Drizzle extra dressing atop the berries and pecans and serve.
I must tell you all, this salad not only tastes so good, it is quite decorative on your table!

I want to thank Mike for hosting this luscious event! If you have not checked out Mike’s blog here, please do so. In fact he has a new pasta attachment for his mixer and has been creating some wonderful pasta dishes lately!

Just a bit of trivia: Strawberries were considered an aphrodisiac in the Middle Ages and a soup made of strawberries, borage and cream was traditionally served to newlyweds for breakfast.
Ah ha, now I know why Mike called this event “Strawberry Seduction”!



Mike of Mike's Table said...

Deb -- the salad looks excellent! I've been stuck in dessert mode and this is just the kind of thing that shows the versatility of strawberries. And those prices are definitely to die for--I think I've bought about 9 lbs so far. I think I have a problem. ;-)

Thanks for participating!

Anonymous said...

Yes, wonderful salad! So colorful!
I can't wait to go strawberry picking again. One goes in the basket..and one gets goes in the basket, and...
well, you know how it goes! haha

Nora B. said...

Combining strawberries with spinach and buttered pecans is such a delicious and seductive idea! I am still thinking about what I can contribute to Mike's event.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This looks beautiful and so refreshing. We got some great strawberries at the Farmers Market this weekend and spinach! :)

Lucy said...

Alas, the strawberries have all gone in these parts. What a shame - this is just my kind of salad.

Beautiful...just beautiful, Deb.

Johanna said...

I love strawberries in salad - the colour, the sweet contrast, the taste are all so wonderful and this salad is eye candy indeed :-)

winedeb said...

Hey Mike, thanks for hosting this fun event! Look forward to the round up!

Hi Maryann, yes I do know how it goes!

Hi Nora! I love the colors, flavors and textures of this salad. You are so creative, you will come up with something great!

Hey Jenn, ah the farmers market:)

Hi Lucy, autumn in Australia. I look forward to the goodies that you will be making from that seasons produce.

Hi Johanna! I like your comment "eye candy"!

noble pig said...

This looks fab, perfect for Spring...buttered pecans, I'm in.

Bellini Valli said...

You're killing me here:D Strawberries won't be ready for the picking until late May...that's a long, long time.....I love these straberry spinach salads. I love your dressing so will have to bookmark it and give it a try:D

Peter M said...

Deb, if you take a look at my latest blog local strawberries around where I am!

I enjoy this type of salad and I will be emulating it when they (berries) are in season.

Gloria said...

Debs, what's beuatiful strawberries!!! Really so nice!! Gloria

winedeb said...

Hey Cathy, buttered pecans in salad are wonderful!

Hi Valli, wish you were closer. I'd send ya a few pounds!

Hey Peter, if you and Valli were just a bit closer, a case would be on it's way!

Hi Gloria, try them in your next salad, yum!

Proud Italian Cook said...

I have a huge container of strawberries from Costco, I'm running out to get some spinach. Thanks for the inspiration!

eatme_delicious said...

Mmm yum I'd like this salad, especially with the brown buttered pecans.

Sophie said...

I'm jealous, some strawberries would be sooooo good right now!

Love the idea of having them in salad