I have spring on the brain, even though most of the country is still fighting the cold weather. Here in Los Angeles we are lucky enough to have fresh organic strawberries already. Growing up in Southern California, we used to stop at the roadside stands and buy fresh strawberries as soon as the farmers started selling them. I love strawberries in a variety of things, but especially salads. Strawberries heighten the flavors of other vegetables when paired together, that’s why they go so well with greens.
Watercress is one of those greens that is sometimes overlooked, but it is actually packed with tons of vitamins and has a slight earthy taste, that’s unique. When strawberries and watercress are combined the flavors are delightful and the feta cream just adds some salty magic to the salad. This salad is great for lunch or dinner and you can double or triple the recipe if needed.
3 cups watercress, organic preferably
6 large organic strawberries
3 ounces feta cheese
2 heaping tablespoon light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1. Wash and dry the watercress and place in a bowl. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine the feta, sour cream, thyme leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend the mixture together on high speed for 2 minutes, or until light and creamy. Place the feta cream in a bowl.
2. Wash and slice the strawberries and place them in a bowl. In a mason jar, combine the mustard, vinegar, agave nectar, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake the jar until the vinaigrette has thickened slightly, about 1 minute.
3. To plate the salads, get all the ingredients in place (mise en place) and make a schmear of feta cream on one side of the salad plate. You will probably have some feta cream leftover, but it makes a great dip with fresh veggies.
4. Then, add some watercress to the center of the plate and top with half the strawberries. Sprinkle the salad with almonds.
5. Using a teaspoon, drizzle a little vinaigrette over the entire salad. Enjoy!