I recently concluded that strawberries are my favorite berry. While I love a good blueberry, there’s just something about biting into a fresh, ripe strawberry that screams summertime. Living in North County San Diego means I have access to locally grown strawberries for a ridiculously long amount of time. So far this season I’ve made strawberry muffins, strawberry-glazed chicken breasts—one night I even went nuts with gorgonzola-filled strawberry boats. But by far, my favorite strawberry-themed summer recipe has been this arugula salad. The bitterness of the arugula pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the strawberries and the saltiness of the feta. I think the key to this salad is the homemade strawberry vinaigrette. It’s not too sweet and not too heavy, and the hemp seeds provide a little bit of crunch (and healthy Omega 3s). Nutritionally, this salad is bursting with vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, folate, vitamin A and phytochemicals.
Ingredients for the salad:
-6 cups wild arugula leaves
-8-10 medium-sized strawberries, hulled and sliced
-1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Ingredients for the salad dressing:
-1 garlic clove
-4 tablespoons olive oil
-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-4 medium strawberries, hulled and sliced
-3 tablespoons hemp seeds
-salt and pepper
Directions: Mix together the salad ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Add garlic clove to a food processor, close the lid and turn on processor until clove is sufficiently chopped. Scrape the insides of the food processor with a spatula, then add strawberries, olive oil and vinegar. Pulse until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour in hemp seeds and stir to combine. Pour salad dressing over salad mixture and toss lightly. Let chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.