I had some farm fresh strawberries left that were quickly getting soft on me. Originally, I was going to use them in this salad for a light dinner one evening. But since they were getting soft, I decided to turn the strawberries into the dressing. And it was a good idea! The strawberries were very sweet and I decided to roast them until they become very soft and juicy. I added some balsamic vinegar, grainy mustard, and a bit of strawberry jam for extra sweetness. I used it to top a salad full of baby spinach and greens, red onion, toasted almonds, crispy bacon, and feta. It was such a fresh and delicious dressing and salad with a perfect combination of flavors.
We try to eat a salad dinner at least once a week in the summer, especially on the evenings when I have my boot camp class. Have a mentioned this class before? Boot camps seem to be becoming all the rage recently. I've been taking one for about 8 weeks now and I absolutely love it. It's been a great way to get me to do more cardio exercise. Plus, the class is at a school right down the road from me so I can walk to and from class - a definite bonus. But after I get home, I don't want a heavy dinner to eat after working out, plus it's later than we would usually eat dinner. This recipe will make about 2 cups of dressing.
Roasted strawberry balsamic vinaigrette
about 2 cups of fresh strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup high-quality balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
about 1 tablespoon strawberry jam (or honey), optional (taste for sweetness)
good pinch of sea salt
a couple grinds of fresh cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the strawberries on the parchment. Roast for about 15-20 minutes, until the strawberries are softened and very juicy (you can also use the broiler, but cut down the time to about 8-10 minutes).
While the strawberries are roasting, place the balsamic, olive oil, jam/honey, salt, and pepper in a food processor. When the strawberries are finished, let them cool slightly and then add them and all their juices to the food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add the mustard and pulse once or twice, just so it mixes through, but doesn't break up the graininess.
You can use the dressing warm or place in a jar and refrigerate up to one week and serve it cold.
What was I cooking one year ago?: banana and pineapple sage smoothies
Two years ago?: peach-strawberry-raspberry pie