The vegetable garden, now that summer is fast approaching, is about creating recipes for fruit and vegetables that are harvested at the same time. That was the inspiration for this spinach, snow pea, strawberry, and radish salad.
It was time to make one last spinach salad before the plants go to seed. I snipped the smallest leaves off the bolting plants before pulling them out. Joe will plant spinach again in the fall when the cooler temperatures return.
I pick about a quart of snow peas each day. Their season is short and the warm temperatures of last week were less than ideal for them. This week promises to be cooler and as usual they will be with us until the end of June.
Since they grow quickly, Joe does consecutive plantings of radishes so they aren’t all ready to harvest at once. A new crop emerges in about 3 weeks. They are another vegetable that prefers cool weather, summer heat renders them woody and hot. I picked small radishes, thinning out a row, allowing the ones left behind a few more days to mature.
Our strawberry patch is in it’s third season now and is doing better than ever. I spent some time cleaning out the weeds this past weekend that seem to take over if given the opportunity. Fresh strawberries are delicious. We even get a second crop at the end of summer.
A strawberry vinaigrette is the perfect complement to this salad. For the dressing I combined garlic, Dijon mustard, strawberry balsamic vinegar, a touch of honey and extra-virgin olive oil.
When making of salad be sure to use a bowl that gives you plenty of room to combine the ingredients. Start by tossing the spinach lightly with dressing to coat and then add some strawberries, peas and radishes and toss again. I leave the rest of them to top the salad. That way you can be certain that the last person served doesn’t get all the heavier ingredients that sink to the bottom of the bowl.
Spinach, Strawberry, Snow Pea and Radish Salad
For the vinaigrette
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 3 T balsamic vinegar (strawberry works nicely here)
- ½-1 t honey
- 1 t Dijon mustard
- ½ c extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the salad
- 6 c baby spinach
- 1 c strawberries, hulled, halved and sliced
- 1 c snow peas, strings removed
- 3-4 medium radishes, sliced thin
- ¼ c toasted sunflower seeds
- In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the snow peas to a small pot of boiling water, count to ten, remove from heat and drain well in a colander. Pat dry and let cool.
- Place the spinach in a large bowl and toss with some of the vinaigrette and taste. Add about half of the other ingredients, toss again, adding more of the dressing if necessary. Top individual salads with the remaining ingredients. Season each portion to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Reserve remaining vinaigrette for a later use.