You know how memories of flavors seem to grow better as time marches on?
We’ve been thinking about this salad since we had it at Beach Bistro. This place is the most acclaimed restaurant on Anna Maria, with one of the highest Zagat rankings in the state and enough Florida Golden Spoon awards to join a jug band, the place could be expected to have good food. And the prices to go along with those ratings. This salad was amazing. Please, don’t judge the salad from its photo. Just envision it as one of those romantic, candlelit places that you hope to get invited to on a very special occasion.
And it seems the time has come to recreate it. One of my girls gifted me these Arugula heirloom seeds and contemporary art, All in One Seed Packs, among others, from Hudson Valley Seed Library for Mother’s Day. The artwork on the packaging alone is worth the price.
We promptly planted them and they are now fully grown and ready for their first trim. Too bad I didn’t get a picture of the overflowing planter, full of the spicy, tender goodness we have come to crave. The local strawberries came in this week, too. We are set to create our version of a memory.
Here we go.
Strawberry Arugula Salad
Sweet onion, such as a Vidalia
toasted pine nuts or your choice of nut
Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 c raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 TBS dijon mustard
1/4 c olive oil
Add all the dressing ingredients, except the oil, in to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Slowly add oil until well combined.
In a large salad bowl, per person, toss 3 or 4 quartered strawberries, a handful of nuts, a half a slice of onion, broken up and 1 large handful of arugula, plus a handful of greens for the bowl. So, for three people, that would be four handfuls of greens. Drizzle with some of the dressing and toss well, don’t overdress it, we’ll add more. Plate it up and add more quartered berries, nuts, fresh ground pepper and a light drizzle of additional dressing.
I never even remembered the original was full of goat cheese until I drug out that picture!
Turns out ours was nothing like Beach Bistros, after all.
It might even have been better!