Sorry for the hiatus, I have been cooking but obviously not writing!
I recently picked up “The Best of Chef at Home: Essential Recipes for Today’s Kitchen” by Michael Smith. I’m a big Food Network junkie and Michael Smith never fails to have classic, simple, and tasty recipes. I really love this cookbook as it provides variations for all recipes and there is a picture for every recipe. I’m surprised there are even cookbooks out there that don’t have a million pictures. It is an extra large selling-point for me.
Here’s a recipe I’ve made three times in the past week. The dressing recipe makes about 1 cup and will last one week in the fridge. For the salad listed you’ll need about ¼ cup of dressing. Reduce the dressing if you’d like but trust me when I say you’ll want to make it again tomorrow.
- 1.5 cups sliced strawberries
- ½ cup pine nuts or chopped almonds1
- 6 cups arugula or mixed greens (including arugula)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup liquid honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard2
- ½ teaspoon ground fennel seed3
- Sprinkle of sea salt & fresh ground pepper
Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes 1 large dinner salad and enough dressing for a week
To toast pine nuts or almonds, pre-heat oven to 350F. Space pine nuts evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes or until fragrant. These burn easily so keep an eye on them depending on your oven strength. Allow nuts to cool before you add them to the salad.
Combine arugula, strawberries, and cooled nuts in a large bowl.
For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a container with a tight seal and shake very thoroughly. The salt has a tendency to get stuck at the bottom so really give it a good shake.
When ready to eat, drizzle dressing over salad and serve immediately.
- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: TRUST ME ON THE TOASTING. You will not regret it. Also, chopped almonds are much cheaper than pine nuts. I’ve made the salad with both and it’s just as good so the choice is yours.
- I HATE mustard with a fiery passion. There is no mustard taste in the final product. The mustard instead acts as an emulsifier and keeps the oil and vinegar from separating.
- Fennel seed has a smell similar to black liquorice which is not very popular, much like the mustard the dressing does not taste like liquorice. If you’re hesitant, start with less and taste-test until you’re satisfied. So far I’ve only found whole fennel seeds which I have ground up in a coffee grinder or Magic Bullet. The smell is very strong and so after you’ve ground it up you’ll want to soak the grinder in hot soapy water and may require a run or two in the dishwasher.