Savoury Strawberry Salad
Including fruit in salads is something that is often overlooked yet it’s a fantastic way to bring sweetness to savory salads without the addition of sugary dressings. Succulent summer fruit isn’t in season all year round so why not make the most of it and think outside the punnet.
Strawberries have been popular since ancient Roman times, used then for their medicinal and antioxidant properties. Always a crowd pleaser, fresh strawberries are a refreshing and healthy treat that also pack a powerful punch when it comes to nutrition. Jam-packed with essential nutrients, they're heart shaped for a reason too. They are thought to have cardio protective properties, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, and help lower blood pressure. Additionally just a handful of strawberries will provide you with your daily dose of Vitamin C, important for our immune system as we approach the cooler months.
Another surprise ingredient in this salad is borage, a pretty little edible flower*. If you’ve read our previous blog post on our “vegan shoots and pulses” you’ll know we’re fans of incorporating edible flowers into our recipes. If you are considering planting it, borage is easy to grow, loved by bees and delicious in salads. Its vivid blue star shaped flowers add a pop of vibrant colour to any garden. Both the leaves and the flowers are edible, with the leaves having a cooler taste while the flowers are quite peppery; a flavour that compliments strawberries perfectly.
The poppy seeds in this dressing add a little texture and contrast to the salad. Their unique nutty flavour comes from the essential fatty acids and oils they contain, again great for helping lower cholesterol and improve heart health. In addition their husks are a fantastic source of fibre, and they’re an excellent source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin and folic acid.
A tasty light lunch or a beautiful accompaniment to have on your table for any meal, give this little salad a go and brighten up those last long lazy days of Irish summer.
For the salad:
A handful of baby gem lettuce leaves
A handful of spinach leaves
1 small red onion finely sliced
1 punnet of fresh strawberries quartered lengthways
A handful of borage flowers
For the dressing:
A diced shallot
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1tsp Dijon mustard
2tsp poppy seeds
200ml olive pomas oil
6tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Plate up all of the salad ingredients, drizzle on the dressing and season to taste
*One very important thing that you need to remember is that not every flower is edible. In fact, sampling some flowers can make you very sick. You also should never use pesticides or other chemicals on any part of any plant that produces blossoms you plan to eat. Never harvest flowers growing by the roadside. Identify the flower exactly and eat only edible flowers and edible parts of those flowers.
- Recipe By Ciaran Kiely, Salt Cafe, Monkstown
- Blog Post By Jodie Wood, BSc. MSc. Nutrition