The strawberries are ripening now and we have eaten at least a quart of them straight from the garden unadorned, unadulterated, unembellished. They're perfect that way in all their red glory, but if you can muster the patience and will power to cut them up and add them to a dish, your efforts will not go unrewarded.
I was all set to have a go at Ovenette biscuits and to macerate some berries in sugar and Cointreau, but when I was weeding the garlic I noticed the spinach was just begging to be picked. Hmm, I thought, how 'bout a spinach and strawberry salad? A crumble of feta, a grind of pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and a splash of vinegar later my salad was ready.
It is a very simple salad, but too much refinement, I think, would rob it of its charm. Like this, each ingredient shines on its own, while also complimenting the other elements. The crispy green-ness of the spinach remains intact and contrasts well with the juicy sweetness of the strawberries and the salty creaminess of the cheese.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
A delicate late spring salad
- 1 handful spinach per salad
- 3-4 strawberries per salad
- a small piece feta or chèvre per salad
- freshly ground pepper
- coarse salt
- extra virgin olive oil
- vinegar of your choice
- Double, triple, quadruple wash spinach to remove any trace of dirt/sand/grit. If the leaves are small enough, leave them whole, if not you probably shouldn't use them for salad anyway. Cut strawberries in quarters and set aside. Arrange spinach leaves and strawberries on plate in some attractive manner. Crumble cheese, grind pepper, and sprinkle salt over the top. Drizzle oil and splash vinegar over salad, being careful not to drown it, and serve.
Consider serving with a white fish or a nice fluffy omelette.
I ate my salad for lunch with a couple Wasa sesame flatbreads, though I think a nice piece of monkfish would have done it better justice.