You knew this was coming, right?
After all, first there were these pickled peppered strawberries. And then, honeyed walnuts made an appearance, followed shortly by pickled strawberry vinaigrette. It was inevitable that I was going to combine all these elements into something, and what better something than a bright and flavourful summer salad?
Crunchy romaine hearts and parsley — used as a main ingredient, not a garnish — form the base of this salad. These are greens that offer the texture and assertive flavour needed to stand up to the briny tang of the pickled strawberries and pungency of the soft goat cheese. The honeyed walnuts, with their sprinkling of sparkling turbinado sugar, add a glamorous touch of sweetness, satisfying richness and more crunch. Marrying it all together is the pickled strawberry vinaigrette, which I used to lightly dress the greens, and then to sprinkle over the composed salad for extra flavour and the visual appeal of those pinkish-peach drizzled droplets.
The salad that you see pictured here was my entirely satisfying dinner one evening recently. If I were to add any accompaniment, I think it would be these seedy lavash crackers. For a dinner party, this amount of salad would make two first-course-worthy dishes, and no doubt spark lively conversation around the dinner table.
This salad is a delight for the eyes and the palate, and while the strawberries make it a summer dish, the savoury touch imparted by pickling them would make it equally welcome on the table during a mid-winter snowstorm.
Pickled Strawberry, Goat Cheese & Honeyed Walnut Salad
© Marlene Cornelis, Urban Cottage Life 2016
This salad marries together a melange of bright and assertive flavours and textures, for a satisfying entree or first course/side salad. I like my salads lightly dressed, but if you want to use more of that luscious pickled strawberry vinaigrette, well then, go right ahead!
Note, to assemble this salad, you will need to have prepared pickled peppered strawberries, honeyed walnuts and pickled strawberry vinaigrette. If you have the pickled strawberries on hand (they need to be prepared at least 24 hours in advance), it only takes five minutes to whisk up the vinaigrette and 10 to prepare the walnuts.
- 1 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves, lightly packed, then roughly chopped
- 2 generous handfuls torn romaine lettuce hearts
- 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp pickled strawberry vinaigrette, plus more for drizzling
- about 60 g goat cheese
- 5 or 6 pickled strawberries, halved vertically
- 6 honeyed walnuts
In a large bowl, combine the parsley and romaine lettuce, and toss with a tablespoon of the vinaigrette. If necessary, add up to another half tablespoon, until the greens are dressed to your liking.
Arrange the greens on a large dinner plate, spreading them out to cover almost the entire surface. Break the goat cheese into about a dozen small dollops, placing them attractively around the salad. Nestle the pickled strawberry halves against the pieces of goat cheese, cut side down, and then intersperse the honeyed walnuts on the greens.
Finally, drizzle a bit more of the pickled strawberry vinaigrette over the goat cheese and around the edges of the plate, to show its pinkish-peach hue to best advantage.