For my BSI: Strawberries entry, I decided to recreate a salad that I’ve gotten a few times at The Prado, a really great yet somewhat pricey restaurant here in San Diego. Their recipe is a pressed arugula salad with sherry-shallot vinaigrette, and it contains strawberries, figs, candied walnuts, shaved Parmesan cheese, and strawberries. For my version, I used pine nuts and a easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette (I didn’t want to buy sherry vinegar). It came out really yummy!
Arugula Salad with Strawberries and Balsamic-Shallot Vinaigrette
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 1.5 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup romaine lettuce chopped
- 1/4 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 tbsp feta or goat cheese (optional; I left this out of course)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 medium shallot, sliced thinly
- pinch each salt and pepper
- Toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat until they start to get brown, about 5-7 minutes. Shake the pan around every once in awhile and don’t let them burn!
- Meanwhile, mix together dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Layer your salad in the following way: romaine lettuce, strawberries, pine nuts, dressing, and cheese (if using). (you can let the nuts cool first, but I was impatient).
- Serves 1. There isn’t a lot of dressing here, so use more oil/vinegar if you like more dressing.
With this recipe I learned:
- Pine nuts make anything taste better. I knew that already but this reinforced it. They are somewhat expensive, though.
- Recreating restaurant dishes doesn’t have to be scary. This tasted pretty similar to Prado’s salad, probably because the shallot, strawberries, and arugula have such distinct flavors.
- “Bitter” salad greens like arugula are so perfect with fruits or sweeter dressings. The little bit of romaine helped balance out the strong flavors of the other ingredients.