June 1 was opening day of strawberry picking at my favorite pick-your-own farm. This means sinking your teeth into a sun-warmed Mt. Hood—the much-acclaimed Oregon berry. The berry that reminds you (or lets you know for the first time) just what a strawberry tastes like. Or should, anyway.
That my freezer is still full of last summer’s strawberries is only an indication of not knowing how to ration. Daiquiris anyone?
Just before my back said “enough,” I made my way to the rows of plump spinach, giving me the perfect dish for a friend’s party later that day.
Seasonal Salad: Spinach and strawberries with red onion and feta cheese
Fresh spinach (washed and dried)
Fresh strawberries (washed and sliced, not too thinly)
Red onion (sliced very thinly)
Crumbled feta (or goat cheese)
For the dressing:
3 T balsamic vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Whisk the dressing ingredients together until emulsified. Toss with berries, onion, spinach and feta just before serving. Finish with freshly ground pepper.
As quickly as summer finally appeared in the Northwest, it disappeared just as fast. We’re back to gray skies and cool weather. But a small window of much-anticipated hot, sunny weather was good excuse to whip up some rhubarb strawberry basil sorbet. You can sorbet almost anything. And sorbets are hard to ruin since they are essentially fruit, sugar, water and often lemon. Sometimes even vegetables. They can end a meal along with a cookie, or they can be used as a palette cleanser between courses.
Below is a recipe for the sorbet I made, but there are many recipes out there and they call for wildly different amounts of simple syrup (your sweet base) and even the ratio of sugar to water for the syrup itself. This means there is no right way or recipe. Some recipes called for corn syrup, which I didn’t want to use so I left it out. Read more
June required several new drawings as more and more produce is becoming available. The color palette is opening up, which, in addition to beautiful meals, also means a larger variety of vitamins and minerals. An Eat the Rainbow post is soon to come that explores the range of antioxidants in the many colors of foods, and their benefits.
One way I added to that rainbow was to pick 10 pounds of strawberries—practically a required summer activity in Oregon. Read more