This past weekend I went to the Junction Market. It’s only been running for two weeks and I was glad I was able to make it this weekend. I love going to farmer’s markets. Something about fresh produce, baked goods, and other edibles gets me excited and about food and all the possibilities. The boyfriend and I got there bright and early so we would have first dibs on stuff.
We saw three varieties of kale. Of which, I only recognized the Tuscan (dinosaur) kale. We picked up the Red Russian. It caught my eye because of the beautiful thick purple stem, it’s leaves were unlike the curly or the Tuscan kale. We also got some freshly pressed apple cider, double smoked bacon, trout, strawberries and a british pork pie to share. It was a delicious day of food.
I spotted Sosnicki Organics and got some of their red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce and beets. They were gorgeous. Every time I go, I think to myself that I should really go more often to take advantage of the freshly picked and delicious tasting produce.
As for what to do with these fresh market greens, I knew I was going to make a salad with these. I purchased some strawberries from a fruit store in my area and searched the internet for a strawberry dressing. I had made one before last year at a BBQ which got an all around thumbs up but I didn’t want to make the same thing and I wanted something less oily, no vinegar, no sugar, used fresh lemons and big on strawberry flavour.
Angela Liddon’s Strawberry Lemon Basil Dressing was one of the first results I came across. I love her blog. She’s got a salad a day challenge going on this month so hop on over there and see what she’s up to. It was the first time I was going to make a dressing that didn’t call for a lot of liquid (3 tbsp of lemon juice and 1 tbsp of evoo). This made me a bit anxious about using my bullet and was the first time that I realized that perhaps the bullet couldn’t completely replace a food processor (an appliance I really wanted a couple years ago but held back on getting afraid I wouldn’t actually use it).
I was a bit nervous about the basil even though I love the herb I usually think of it when it comes to meat stews, soups and pasta. It was my first time blending raw herbs for a dressing and I worried it was going to overwhelm the strawberry flavour.
Since I didn’t want to overwork my bullet and possibly burn out it’s motor (although a part of me is wondering when this thing will die so I can justify the purchase of a better blender – Vitamix), I decided I would chop up my strawberries into cubes (initially I sliced them) then add it to the bullet with about 1/4 cup of water. Since I added water and I didn’t want to dilute the dressing too much I added an additional 1/2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice and a couple of strawberries. I wondered if this would ruin the end result.
It was FABULOUS.
What a perfect dressing to complement the crisp market greens. BTW, it was around 10:30pm when I sat down to eat this. It was a long day and I wanted to just have this salad to finish the night. It was a great way to finish a saturday night before another fun sunday out.
Strawberry Lemon Basil Dressing
Adapted from Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon.
- 1-1/4 cup of fresh strawberries (sliced)*
- 1/4 cup of water*
- 3.5 tbsp of fresh lemon juice *
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 of packed fresh basil
- 1/2-1 tsp of agave nectar (or your preferred sweetener)
- sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
*Note: If you are not using a magic bullet, please follow Angela’s original recipe by omitting the water, use 1 cup of strawberries and 3 tbsp of lemon juice. As for blender users, I don’t know how regular blenders compare to the bullet but when I looked at the ingredients in my bullet before I added the water, it didn’t look like enough liquid to pulverize the ingredients. It’s your call.
Method for Dressing
- Add strawberries to food processor or blender. Optional: I dice them after measuring the 1-1/4 cup amount of sliced strawberries. I diced since I didn’t think my bullet could pulverize them without messing up the motor.
- Layer basil leaves and slice them into long thin strips (chiffanade). Add to food processor or blender.
- Add lemon juice, agave nectar, sea salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil and water to blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth.
- Taste and adjust if necessary.
Strawberry & Mixed Greens Salad
- Handful of strawberries, stem & leaves removed and sliced thin
- Mixed greens (I used 2 romaine lettuce leaves and 1 red leaf lettuce)
- Handful of raw pumpkin seeds
- 2-3 tbsp of strawberry lemon basil dressing
- Rip or slice greens into bite size pieces.
- Top with sliced strawberries and pumpkin seeds.
- Add spoonfuls of strawberry lemon basil dressing on top.
What is your favourite dish to make with fresh greens? What is your favourite fruity salad dressing?