When summer hits, you don’t have to worry about augmenting flavours too much (or anytime for that matter). But in summer, the greens are more potent, the fruit is more intensely sweet. At one of the markets I like to go to, one of my favourite organic farmers, Sparrow’s Nest, had his first strawberries of the season.
We had a cool spring (even by prairie Canada standards), so all of his fruit and vegetables are a little behind their normal growing cycle. The strawberries were well worth the wait. Sweet yet with a slight tartness to them that gave them such a perfect balance that I only wanted to add his peppery, and I mean peppery, arugula.
But how do you dress a salad with only strawberries? You grip them in your hand, make a fist and squash them.
There’s something primal, yet cathartic, about crushing the heck out of super fresh strawberries. It brings you closer to the beautiful fruit. You can feel every drop of juice as it drips from your fingers. There’s nothing like the texture either. A pulsed blender or food processor wouldn’t be this delightfully ragged.
The best part is you toss it together without needing to chop up more strawberries to accent the salad. It’s dressed and garnished all at once!
Here’s to the perfect summer with simple flavours!
Squashed Strawberry Arugula Salad
1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed
3 cups fresh arugula (rocket) leaves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, add the strawberries and crush them between your fingers until each strawberry is squashed into pieces roughly 1/8 the size. Season the strawberries with salt and pepper. Add the arugula and lightly toss with your fingers until the arugula is lightly dressed with fresh strawberry juice. Serves 2.