We love salads at our house (though Son is more of purist with them)! So this recipe was much anticipated to serve. Here in southern New Jersey where local farmers grow from April through October, there is always something fresh to buy in the Garden State. That being said, I looked forward to adding seasonal strawberries to this mix. So I gave Husband the honey-do list to pick up the strawberries. I forgot to be super specific about where to purchase the strawberries, I did write the name of the farm market to buy them from (Conte’s). But, alas, there is another farmer’s market that holds a spot at the intersection in front of the farm and store where I indicated.
Don’t get me wrong, the one at the intersection has lots of local grown, a great greenhouse, their own bakery, along with other produce brought in from one of the other 50 states. Conte’s, (where I told husband to go has the same style) though, grows their own strawberries and what I wanted to use in this salad. The other stand had strawberries from….California. Husband stopped at that market and picked up a container of those red strawberries from….California. What could I say? It was too late to go to Conte’s. The salad had to be made and with the California ones. Dorie’s suggestion to go with what is fresh locally ran through my head and I could imagine her shrug at what bounty I had. I pretended that Conte’s strawberries were gone for the season so that I could my enthusiasm for the salad.
I used plum tomatoes, skinned and seeded, California strawberries (with all fairness, they were red and sweet!), and Bel Gioso’s mozzarella, and my own basil. Lovely color when assembled. We couldn’t wait to have it with our grilled steaks. Husband loved it, son shunned it, and I let the flavor combinations make their impression on my palate. I wasn’t sure about the tomato with the strawberry. The basil was wonderful. I decided I would like to try the recipe with baby spinach as a substitute for the tomatoes next time. Love the flexibility of this salad to serve with a brunch, lunch or dinner.
Looking forward to July’s selections.
Happy Summer, Everyone!