Emily M. DeArdo

writer

Summer Scribbles No. 3: A Taste of Summer

food, essaysEmily DeArdoComment

Like most good things, this recipe was created sort of by accident.

My friends and I spent a weekend in Hocking Hills in July, in a lovely cabin that had a full kitchen, so we decided to do most of the cooking. We have a lot of culinary-minded friends, so I was planning on making a few things: my Irish soda bread (made ahead and brought down for breakfast), and a Caesar salad. I also decided to do balsamic strawberries as an ice cream topping or fun dessert, because I love balsamic strawberries and more people need to like them too.

I had asked a friend of mine to bring eggs for the Caesar salad, since I was going down right from work and didn’t want the eggs to be destroyed in my car. Sadly, friend forgot the eggs, but that led to this creation, so I guess that’s OK.

Anyway, this salad was quickly imagined, and everyone liked it–the guys even fought over the leftover strawberries. I have made it for another meal with friends and they liked it so much that one of them asked for the recipe so she could make it for her friends.

So here it is. 

Summer Strawberry Salad

This serves about six people, give or take.

2 heads romaine lettuce

2 pints strawberries

1-2 tbsp. brown sugar (light or dark. Or Splenda!  really like splenda brown sugar because it doesn’t get hard and gross in the bag)

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

EVOO

3 lemons

First, make the strawberry topping, because this need to sit for at least 20-30 minutes (If you can get an hour of sit time, that’s optimal)

Lop off the top of the berries and cut in half. Place in a bowl. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Let sit.

When you’ve got about five minutes to dinner (or you’re ready to eat), start the salad.

Starting at the frilly top end of the lettuce head, cut the lettuce into 1-2 inch pieces. Discard the stem end. Then cut down the middle of the lettuce, which will cut each piece in half, leaving you with smaller and easier pieces to eat. Continue with the second head and place the lettuce in a serving bowl.

In another small bowl, add 1/2 c. of EVOO, depending on how much dressing you like. Add the juice of two lemons, then whisk together. Remember, there’s balsamic going in here, too! Taste, and add more lemon juice if necessary. 

When ready to serve, add strawberries to salad. Add dressing. Toss. Eat a piece of lettuce to check seasoning. You may need some kosher salt or pepper added for seasoning. Totally up to you.