As the June celebration of strawberries continues here at Urban Cottage Life, it’s time for another salad. Pickled Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad with Honeyed Walnuts is a feast for both the palate and the eyes.
A Bright & Flavourful Summer Salad
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?
Assembling Pickled Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad
This is a composed salad, as opposed to one where all the ingredients are tossed together. Consider it a minor work of art on a plate.
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. I prefer to lightly dress the greens, and then sprinkle some vinaigrette over the composed salad for extra flavour and the visual appeal of those pinkish-peach drizzled droplets.
Entrée or Side Salad
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 it would no doubt spark lively conversation around the dinner table.
This salad is a delight for the eyes and the palate. 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.
Let’s Make Pickled Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad
This salad marries together a melange of bright and assertive flavours and textures for a satisfying entrée 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!
To assemble this salad, you'll need to have prepared pickled peppered strawberries, honeyed walnuts and pickled strawberry vinaigrette. If you have only the pickled strawberries on hand (they need to be prepared at least 24 hours in advance), it takes just a minute or two 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
- 60 g goat cheese, approximately
- 5 or 6 pickled strawberries, halved vertically
- 6 honeyed walnut halves
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 arrange the honeyed walnut halves in a pleasing array.
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.
Looking for More Interesting Salads?
While I do enjoy a simple green salad, there are a lot of other interesting salads to choose from. Green Bean, Tomato & Chickpea Salad is an entrée in its own right, as is Roasted Beet & Potato Salad with Cannellini Beans. This colourful Green & Yellow Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes has has graced many a potluck for 20 years.
First Published 2016 07 12
Republished 2020 06 12