This is a salad that I never would have tried had it not been literally delivered to a plate sitting in front of me. I know that for most people this salad is nothing new, but I always thought that goat cheese had too strong of a taste. So, when given the option I would always choose a traditional garden or caesar salad. Then Basil Tree catered a lunch at work and there weren't options. This was it. And WOW, the goat cheese isn't overwhelming at all when paired with fresh strawberries and cucumbers and homemade balsamic dressing. The salad was refreshing and delicious!
Summer is the perfect time to make this salad because a) strawberries and cucumbers are in season, and b) no oven! Hooray! My kitchen doesn't need to get any hotter, thank you very much. Lily is already wearing nothing but those one piece rompers that keep her as cool as possible is our un-air conditioned house (though I did break down and buy a couple of window units this year because Jake and my dad pressured me into it).
Obviously, this is a salad, so there really aren't any exact amounts that are correct. If you love strawberries then use lots of them. Love goat cheese? You get the idea.
Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad with Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing Printer-friendly version
For the salad:
5 cups mixed greens (or any lettuce that you happen to have) 1/4 cup shredded carrots 1 cup sliced strawberries 1 cup sliced cucumbers 3 ounces goat cheese, in small pieces 1/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds
In a small pan, toast the almonds over medium heat just until they are slightly browned and you can smell them. Set aside until cool.
In a large bowl, gently mix all of the ingredients above. Top with balsamic vinaigrette (below) and serve right away. I wouldn't make this salad more than a couple of hours ahead of when you want to serve it.
For the dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1-2 teaspoons honey 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3/4 cup olive oil
Beat the vinegar in a bowl with one teaspoon of honey, garlic, salt, and pepper until sugar and salt dissolve. Then beat in the oil, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and add another teaspoon of honey if you want to (and adjust the other seasonings to taste).