Salad is not high on my list of favorite things.
I can think of literally hundreds of other foods
That I would much rather eat besides a bowl of leafy greens;
But come late spring,
When the first strawberries make their appearance
At the farmers’ market,
Right alongside the leafy green spinach and other crisp greenery,
Something miraculous happens: my inner green goddess emerges, and I get an insatiable craving for salad.
While strolling the market on Saturday, I was lucky enough to taste samples of handcrafted, artisan goat cheese from Giggling Goat Dairy. It was tangy and creamy and available in a variety of flavors. I opted for the plain goat cheese for my salad, although the feta cheese was also calling my name. Giggling goat is the perfect name. The goats are happy and it shows because this cheese is incredibly delicious.
A handful of almonds, toasted for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven, add a nice crunch to the salad.
I made a simple vinaigrette of lemon juice, olive oil, and shallot with a hint of natural sweetness from locally produced Buckingham Valley Honey.
I like the jelly jar method of making a salad dressing. Just put the ingredients in the jar. Secure the lid. Double check that you secured the lid. Put on some funky dance music and shake. Your dressing is ready before the song is over.
I finish the salad with freshly ground black pepper, so with every bite, I get a spicy bite back.
Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup light olive oil
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon finely chopped shallot
Salt to taste
½ cup sliced almonds
5-6 cups spinach (12 ounces)
1 ½ cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Fresh ground pepper to finish
- Place lemon juice, olive oil, honey, shallot, and salt in a glass jar. Secure the lid and shake the ingredients vigorously until combined.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread sliced almonds on a baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until medium golden brown and fragrant. Let cool completely. Can be made ahead and stored at room temperature in a sealed container.
- Place spinach in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle 2 Tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the spinach and toss to coat. Add strawberries, goat cheese, and almonds. Gently toss together.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and top with black pepper to taste. Serve additional dressing on the side.
The Wrightstown Farmers Market is located on 2nd Street Pike on the grounds of the Wrightstown Municipal Building. The market is held on Saturdays from 9 am until 1 pm during the months of May through November with a winter market held on the 2nd and 4th Saturday from December through April.
Blooming Glen Farm in Perkasie offers a variety of organic vegetables, herbs, flowers, strawberries, and tomatoes. Their produce is available through CSA membership. Pick up is at the farm or through boxed delivery to Doylestown and Yardley. Produce is also available at the Wrightstown Farmers Market and Easton Farmers Market on Saturdays, or at the Headhouse Farmers Market in Philadelphia on Sundays.
Goat cheese from Giggling Goat Dairy is available at None Such Farm Market in Buckingham, the Doylestown Food Co-op, and at Necessity Farms and Dairy in Telford.
Buckingham Valley Honey is available at several locations including None Such Farm Market in Buckingham, The Larder in Doylestown, and Organnons Natural Market in Wrightstown to name a few. Check their website for a complete list.
Kelly Madey writes the delicious and beautiful blog, A Bucks County Kitchen.
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