Hye Thyme Cafe: Strawberry-Mozzarella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Strawberry-Mozzarella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

I made a Chicken Tetrazzini for dinner the other night, and because it's a casserole, there wasn't really a need for a veg or starch side, but I did want something, so I opted for a salad. I recently noticed a forgotten bottle of Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar hanging out in the back of the pantry, so I decided to put that to use.

1/3 c Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar
1/3 c Olive Oil
2 t honey
Greens (I used a head of Green Leaf Lettuce)
Fresh Basil
Sliced Almonds

For the dressing, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and honey.  You can add a pinch of salt and pepper if you like, but I just kept it simple, wanting the strawberry vinegar to be the "star" of the show.

Slice the berries, toss them in the dressing and set aside for a while to macerate. You want that nice fresh juice to seep out and incorporate into the dressing.

In the meantime, toss some almond slices into a dry pan over medium heat and let them get lightly toasted. Be sure to keep moving them around so they don't burn, and as soon as they're a color you like, dump them out into something else so the residual heat from the pan doesn't burn them.

Cut the mozzarella into bite-sized pieces, and bunch up some of the basil leaves and chiffonade them into ribbons.

I used a slotted spoon to scoop the berries out of the dressing and toss them with the lettuce, just letting the dressing that clung to the berries dress the salad. Then I tossed in the mozzarella and some of the almonds and used the rest of the almonds and the basil to crown each plate, serving the reserved dressing on the side.

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