We're back to our routine. Lulu has been focused on his work and I'm in charge of providing delicious meals for him. Last night we hosted another dinner party. To save time, I put together a healthy yet delicious strawberry and almond salad for the first course, to the delight of our guests.
Almonds are rich in protein and gave extra crunch to the salad. Strawberries provided color and natural sweetness. I wished I had found the same out-of-this-world mara des bois strawberries I had last week in Paris but thankfully the ones from our garden fit the bill wonderfully.
Throwing a dinner party doesn't have to be time-consuming. I usually try to make one elaborate dish and a quick and easy dish so I'm not too exhausted when it's time to greet our guests!
If you browse through the website, you can find many party-planning tips and recipes , especially a number of elegant appetizers.
Servings: 6 servings
1 pint strawberries, hulled
¾ cup whole almonds
juice of half a lemon
1 ripe avocado
6 cups mixed greens (arugula, romaine lettuce, spinach)
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons mild honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon red miso paste (or 1 pinch or salt)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the fruit: Wash the strawberries and pat them dry in a kitchen towel. Cut the strawberries into thick slices.
For the nuts: Coarsely chop the almonds.
Prepping the avocado: Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the avocado into small wedges. Transfer to a deep plate, removing the peel from each slice (that way the avocado isn't mushy). Drizzle with lemon juice to avoid oxidation. Set aside.
For the salad dressing: Using a chef's knife, crush the garlic clove. Remove the peel and very finely chop the garlic. Add the honey, miso paste, mustard and vinegar. Stir well until smooth, then slowly add the olive oil. Whisk well.
Assembly: You can assemble this salad as it pleases you. Here's my suggestion:
On a large, deep serving platter, alternate the mixed greens, strawberry slices and almonds. Top with the avocado slices, fanning them. Add the lemon juice from the avocado plate to the salad dressing. Mix well and when you're ready to serve, drizzle over the salad. Toss well.
Serve at room temperature.
For a richer mouth-feel, you could sprinkle the salad with crumbled feta cheese but I wanted to keep the dish healthy.
You could also use other acidic fruits in season such as oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, kiwis, pineapple or peaches instead of strawberries.