April Brings With It A Sweet Strawberry Season

Strawberries

First cultivated in ancient Rome, strawberries are now the most popular “berry” in the world, and in Provence, they are believed to be an aphrodisiac. Strawberries are a member of the rose family and aren’t a fruit or berry, but an enlarged flower receptacle.Strawberries have the ability to protect your heart, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and guard against cancer. Rich in vitamins, fiber, and high levels of antioxidants, strawberries are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant levels and are a good source of manganese and potassium and one serving provides more vitamin C than an orange.

When picking strawberries, choice berries that are ripe, firm, plump, free of mold, and are bright red. Strawberries need to be consumed shortly after purchase and will not ripen once picked.

LaVita Fresca’s Best Strawberry Salad Recipe

Dressing Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

• 1 tsp honey

• 1 1/2 tsp good quality dijon mustard

1/2 cup of olive oil (orange or mandarin infused olive oil would be good too)

Salad Ingredients:

• 4 cups mixed salad greens.

• 1 pint fresh strawberries, thinly sliced.

• 1/2 cup candied walnuts

• 2 ounces goat cheese

4 tbsp Basil chiffonade* or more to taste

Dressing: Combine vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, and olive oil into a bowl and whisk until smooth.

Salad: Pour dressing over mixed salad greens and sliced strawberries and toss gently. Top with chopped candied walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. Serves 4.

Culinary Term:

*Chiffonade: (shihf-uh-NAHD) The literal translation from French means “made of rags”. In the kitchen, we mean to slice herbs and leafy vegetables into thin strips. It is one of the best techniques for handling basil to reduce bruising and lends a palate pleasing taste, texture and an attractive distribution of the herb throughout the dish. To chiffonade basil, pinch off the leaves and evenly stack the leaves starting with the largest on bottom to smaller top. Roll the stack horizontally (the spine of the leaves should be positioned lengthwise) and then thinly slice the stack of rolled leaves vertically (in the same direction as the ribs). In other words, make a stack of leaves, roll’em up and make think slices of it — don’t stress out about it and enjoy the fact that you tried something new.

 

*Chiffonade: (shihf-uh-NAHD) The literal translation from French means “made of rags”. In the kitchen, we mean to slice herbs and leafy vegetables into thin strips. It is one of the best techniques for handling basil to reduce bruising and lends a palate pleasing taste, texture and an attractive distribution of the herb throughout the dish. To chiffonade basil, pinch off the leaves and evenly stack the leaves starting with the largest on bottom to smaller top. Roll the stack horizontally (the spine of the leaves should be positioned lengthwise) and then thinly slice the stack of rolled leaves vertically (in the same direction as the ribs). In other words, make a stack of leaves, roll’em up and make think slices of it — don’t stress out about it and enjoy the fact that you tried something new.

 

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