Make us your home page
Instagram

From the food editor: Enjoy local crop in Strawberry Salad With Poppyseed Dressing

Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing.

MICHELLE STARK | Times

Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing.

There is something about a strawberry salad that is at once decadent and accessible. It has fruit in it, so it's more fun to eat than a regular ol' salad, but the bright berries give it an irresistible sweetness and freshness.

The same can be said for the heart-shaped fruit itself, which is currently the star of the Florida Strawberry Festival running through Sunday in Plant City.

It's prime Florida strawberry season, with prices low in grocery stores and the crop fully recovered from warm December temperatures that prevented plants from blooming. And central Florida is responsible for growing most of them.

For this week's cover story, I went out to a field in Dover and talked to Sue Harrell from the Florida Strawberry Growers Association. During a tour of the association's event center and various strawberry fields, Harrell rattled off a bunch of facts about strawberries that may come as a surprise. We've compiled 10 of the most interesting on Page 6E, so you can get to know the Florida fruit a little better.

Continuing with the theme is this week's recipe, a simple strawberry salad that gets a boost from homemade poppy seed dressing. A couple of tips. Look for logs of goat cheese in the store instead of the pre-crumbled option; it tastes fresher and adds a creamy element to the salad. For this reason, I typically leave the mayonnaise out of the dressing. To give the strawberries an added tang, you can soak them in balsamic vinegar before adding them to the salad. But this time of year, the berries are typically so sweet and juicy on their own, they taste best totally unadorned.

Contact Michelle Stark at mstark@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8829. Follow @mstark17.

easy

Strawberry Salad With Poppyseed Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 5 to 8 ounces baby spinach (4 to 5 lightly packed cups)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons poppy seed salad dressing, recipe below

Instructions

  1. Hull and then cut the strawberries into thin slices.
  2. If your pecans aren't already toasted, spread them out on a baking sheet and bake them in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until darkened and very fragrant. Cool briefly before tossing with salad, or pull them out just before and leave them warm for something a little different.
  3. Set aside a few of the prettiest strawberry slices, a few pecans and some of the goat cheese to sprinkle over the top of the salad.
  4. Transfer the spinach to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle a tablespoon of the poppy seed dressing over the greens and toss gently to coat. Continue adding tablespoons of dressing as needed until the greens are all evenly slicked with dressing. Gently toss the sliced strawberries, pecans and goat cheese with the spinach.
  5. Transfer the salad to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle the reserved strawberries, pecans, and goat cheese over the top, along with one last drizzle of dressing. Serves 4.
Source: Adapted from thekitchn.com.

easy

Poppyseed Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons mayonnaise, for a creamier dressing

Instructions

  1. Whisk the white wine vinegar and sugar until the sugar is mostly dissolved (it's okay if there is still some undissolved sugar). Peel the shallot and grate it on a microplane or the smallest holes on a box grater directly into the bowl. Add the poppy seeds, salt, and ground mustard, and whisk to combine. If using, whisk in mayonnaise.
  2. Whisking the dressing steadily, pour the olive oil into the dressing in a slow stream. Continue whisking until completely combined.
  3. Transfer to a covered container and store in the fridge for several weeks. The dressing will separate as it sits; shake to recombine before using. Makes 1 cup.
Source: thekitchn.com

From the food editor: Enjoy local crop in Strawberry Salad With Poppyseed Dressing 03/07/16 [Last modified: Monday, March 7, 2016 3:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Five ideas for cooking with ground turkey

    Cooking

    I rarely cook with ground beef. Ground turkey became the go-to ground protein in my kitchen years ago. As meats go, it's pretty ideal: not a ton of raw meat juices, easy enough to cook in a pinch, more flavor than ground chicken. I sub turkey in for just about any recipe that calls for ground beef, except on …

    Siraracha Turkey Skewers are accompanied by jasmine rice and carrot-cucumber slaw.
  2. Watch Round 3 of Feeding Tampa Bay's Epic Chef Showdown

    Cooking

    TAMPA — Round 3 of the third annual Epic Chef Showdown to benefit Feeding Tampa Bay is Monday night, and you can watch it live right here.

    Chef Richard Bergendale of The Mill restaurant and Sous Chef Jeff Thornsberry of Locale Market competed in Round 1 of the Epic Chef Showdown. [Epicurean Hotel / Feeding Tampa Bay]
  3. Dragon ride in Harry Potter section of Universal closing for new themed ride

    Florida

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019 — sending wizard fans into a guessing game with hopes for a Floo Powder Network or the maze from the Triwizard Tournament.

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge on Sept. 5 for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019. The ride, originally the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, was renamed and incorporated into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when the hugely popular area opened in 2010.
  4. Restaurant review: Food and beer pair nicely at the Eatery at Brew Bus Terminal and Brewery

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA - Tampa Bay's craft beer scene is perennially in flux. New breweries open, others close or get scooped up by bigger breweries, some reinvent themselves so they can sell beer off site, and still others build on kitchens and add food to give enthusiasts another reason to sit tight.

    A Passion of the Heights hibiscus wheat ale is displayed at The Brew Bus in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017.  The Brew Bus Terminal, which houses a microbrewery and tasting room and serves as a hub for bus tours to local breweries, has opened an on-site kitchen called the Eatery. With the opening of the new casual dining concept, the brewery joins the ranks of microbreweries across the country that have asked that question: "What goes with beer? Hey, how about food?"
  5. Daniel Lipton resigns as artistic director of Opera Tampa

    Stage

    TAMPA — Daniel Lipton has resigned as artistic director of Opera Tampa, the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts announced.

    Daniel Lipton took over the post when 17-year director Anton Coppola retired in 2012 at age 95.