Saturday, June 13, 2009

Avocado, Strawberry & Grape Tomato Salad

I was in Parkersburg yesterday and did some shopping. Whoa everyone! Avocados are now 50 cents each at Wal-Mart and they are green, not over ripe! Strawberries are $1.88/lb. Looks like this is dinner tonight.

1/4 head crisp lettuce (Or 16 medium leaves)
1 medium sized carrot, julienned
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups large strawberries, quartered
3/4 cup vinaigrette dressing, or dressing of your choice

2 ripe avocados, cubed
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheese (Mozzarella, Colby or Jack)
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Tear lettuce into bite size pieces.
  2. Toss lettuce with carrots, tomatoes, strawberries and salad dressing until well coated.
  3. Divide among four salad plates.
  4. Place cubed avocado and cheese on top.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve immediately.
Serves: 4

Adapted from: CDKitchen

Now that I've made this recipe, it has changed. I have a terrible time sticking to a recipe!

First, I happened to have an abundance of fresh spinach right now, having just bought a bag on sale at Kroger. When I came home and went to work in the garden, I had to harvest the rest of my spinach because it's starting to bolt. A few years ago, we went to Stonewall Jackson Resort for Mother's Day. Stillwater's had a wonderful spread, including a spinach and strawberry salad.
Voila! We are now eating spinach instead of lettuce.

I hate having to buy something special just for a recipe, like grape tomatoes. I have been buying tomatoes at the Valley View Market at the end of my road. (BTW, Patty also has some good looking new potatoes, red and "yellow flesh".) I buy a couple of good ones, then I buy a couple of tomatoes with "spots". These tomatoes are starting to go by, but they are only $.79/lb. All I have to do is cut out the bad spot and I have a perfectly good tomato.

Then I decided not to toss the salad. It would have a much better presentation if it was layered. (And I could customize it for the family. Some won't eat strawberries and some won't eat avocado.)

As I made the salad, the proportions changed. Definitely less strawberries and avocado. I was making a side salad, not a whole dinner of salad.

Then, I didn't have a bottle of decent vinaigrette. I really wanted a raspberry vinaigrette like I had at Stillwater's. So I made my own. One thing I keep in my pantry is a selection of vinegars. One of those is Delallo Raspberry Balsamic vinegar. Perfect!

The New Avocado, Strawberry and Tomato Salad

4 oz. fresh washed spinach
1 med. carrot, julienned
1 lg. tomato, thin wedges
4 lg. strawberries, quartered
1 avocado, thin slices
2 oz. shredded cheese - co-jack or mozzarella
1/2 cup raspberry vinaigrette

Lay spinach leaves on four salad plates.
Alternate slices of tomato, strawberry and avocado in a spoke pattern.
Sprinkle the carrots in the middle of the spokes.
Sprinkle cheese over all.
Drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette.

Serves: 4

Raspberry Vinaigrette

1/2 cup water
1/3 cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1/4 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic granules
fresh ground black pepper

Measure all ingredients into a 2 cup glass measure.
Stir and drizzle over salad.
Pour remainder into a jar and refrigerate.

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