Monday, May 28, 2012

Strawberry Mint Salad

At our local farmer's market, the strawberries have been amazing recently! We buy whole flats of them at a time, and pop them into our mouths like candy (after washing them, of course). They are so sweet and delicious, but sometimes I want to make something with them besides just eating them plain. Looking at the lettuce and mint that arrived in our CSA, I had an idea. I've probably had a salad like this before, but at a restaurant. I think this is the first time I've ever incorporated fruit into a salad at home and had it work out in such a delicious way. Topped with freshly ground salt and pepper, olive oil, and a dash of red wine vinegar (balsamic would have been too much), this Strawberry Mint Salad is amazingly refreshing on a warm spring or summer evening.

- Red Leaf Lettuce
- Fresh Mint Leaves, torn or sliced into small pieces
- Ripe Organic Strawberries, sliced
- Crumbled Goat Cheese (chevre or feta will work)
- Dash of freshly ground salt and pepper

A Note about Strawberries and Pesticides: When buying strawberries, be sure to buy organic. Please don't assume that because something is at the Farmer's Market it is automatically organic. ALWAYS look for a posted "Certified Organic" sign. You can also ask the grower/seller when you don't see a sign, as sometimes farms will be in the process of being certified, but haven't yet reached the requirements. This means that even though they are following the rules to be certified as organic, enough time has not yet passed for them to use the official "Organic" designation. Despite the phase-out of Methyl Bromide that began in 2005, there are loopholes in the law that allow it's use and the chemical is still used in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties (where close to 90% of U.S. strawberries are grown). The replacement pesticide, Methyl Iodide (sold as Midas), was supposed to be less dangerous but it was pulled from the U.S. market in March of 2012 by it's Japanese manufacturer. My advice is to stay away from the chemicals and buy organic berries!

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