It was a dry Father’s Day here in the Ozarks, certainly not what we had expected, yeah! Like Mother’s Day this was the first Father’s Day I’ve had off since moving to the Ozarks. It was so nice. We joined a family event in Republic, for a wonderful Father’s Day luncheon. I took l0- pounds of potato salad (It’s a large family.) and a lemon blueberry trifle. And there were deviled eggs, glorious delicious deviled eggs and I didn’t have to make them! My husband’s step-mother made exquisite little jewels. With all the cooking that I do for a living, it is relaxful, at times, to not be the hostess. Hats off to Grandma Donna for a wonderful meal and great conversation.
When I am spending time with family and friends I like to find out what foods make them ‘tick’. That way at the next gathering I can make their day with something really special. After today I am all set for the next family dinner. Uncle Edwin won’t like it though, because I’m going to take an onion pie! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here before we discuss the uniqueness of today’s Strawberry Wilted Salad.
By the way, one discussion today was on wilted lettuce, and how long it has been since folks have enjoyed a big bowl. If you didn’t have an early spring garden with tender greens you can use various mixtures of tender greens. Spinach, romaine and Boston Bibb lettuce will all come together for traditional wilted lettuce or this recipe; Wilted Strawberry Salad.
As always, I like to quickly point out how you can personalize the dish. In the dressing go for different types of mustards and vinegars. In the body of the greens bring in your favorite fruits. The cheese I was going to use at the beginning of the design was goat. I didn’t use it in the end because we often make 15-34 individual salads at the culinary school. Personally I think goat cheese softens very quickly, therefore I selected the feta cheese for the top of the salad.
Many of you have heard me talk about the fun canning products that I do each summer. This year at the culinary school I’ll be doing 2 days of canning. Friday, June 28th and Friday July 19th. At the 11am class we will be making pickled asparagus. In the two pm class we shift to the large canner and prepare cold packed chicken. Then the chicken will be whipped into a bountiful bowl of homemade chicken and noodles. It will be so very very tasty. As I indicated last week in my comments; I thoroughly expect groceries to skyrocket in about 4-6 months. Buying chicken at sale price and in turn freezing or canning is the best way to be a savvy cook.
One of the positive results of all the rains has been the wildflowers. They have been picturesque in the Ozark hills. Queen Anne’s lace, Coneflowers, Lazy Susan’s, Wild roses, Primrose, Lilies and Indian Paintbrush have been the most abundant. In fact tomorrow I’m going out with the ‘good’ camera to capture a few.
I promise the salad today will bring you wonderful comments at your next dinner. Good conversation and memories of other wilted salads. Whether I am singing or presenting a meal the goal is to evoke an emotion. To once again journey into the memories past or to create new ones with our family and friends. That is what it’s all about. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com.
Wilted Strawberry Salad
The amounts of ingredients will vary depending upon whether you are making a full bowl, of the recipe or only for two. I would suggest cutting the recipe in half for smaller groups, don’t worry, there won’t be leftovers!
6 green onions, finely diced, including green portion.
10-14 cored and sliced strawberries
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Romaine or fresh spring garden lettuce, chopped into a 4 quart bowl.
Feta Cheese, to sprinkle on top of each portion
6 slices of bacon, sliced thin and cooked
1/4 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon brown or spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Chop lettuce into bowl, top with green onions, walnuts and strawberries.
In small saucepan fry bacon pieces and allow to cool. To the bacon add sugar, salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar. Return to the stove and bring to a boil. Remove immediately and pour 1/2 – 3/4 over the bowl of greens and ingredients. Toss and make sure the ratio is to your liking before adding the rest of the dressing. Place on salad plates and top with a sprinkle of feta cheese.
You don’t want the salad soggy, just slightly wilted. Serves 6-8 side salads.
To toast nutmeats set an oven at 300 degrees and place nuts on a sheet pan covered with parchment. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Usually you can ‘smell’ the nuts when they’re ready. Bake at 350 there’s a chance you could overcook the product, should you forget! You could also spray the nuts with vegetable spray or butter and sprinkle on a seasoning, if you desired.