I must admit though that I had delayed this post a little. When I began to write this at the start of last week, it felt as if we were in the depths of Winter again. Sharing a Summery recipe like this in a middle of a cold spell made me feel like a bit of a tease so I put it on hold. And while us Brits have never been held back by a little wind and rain (we'd never get anything done if we did!), I decided to put my faith in the fact that Summer was just around the corner, and wait out the wind and the rain.
Anyway, I am delighted that Summer finally decided to join the party, and even more excited to share this delicious recipe with you all as it really is delicious. The strawberries are an exciting addition to a green salad base and served alongside the sweet figs, fresh basil, earthy beetroot and crunchy macadamia nuts it makes for a hearty and satisfying combination. Strawberries and basil really are a match made in heaven!
This strawberry salad is the perfect dish to serve up at barbeques and festivities as an impressive side, but enjoyed alongside some rustic rye sourdough, this also forms a substantial main in its own right.
Strawberry, Beetroot and Fig Salad
100g macadamia nuts
8 baby figs
4 heaped cups of baby spinach
2-3 small, cooked beetroot
50g radish and alfalfa sprouts
Handful of fresh basil
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
Heat a cast iron pan or heavy bottomed frying pan over a medium heat. Add the macadamia nuts and stir constantly until they are lightly toasted and golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat up a griddle pan to a high heat and lightly brush with olive oil. While it is heating, cut the figs into halves. Griddle each of the baby fig halves (cut side down) for a couple of minutes, until they just start to caramelise. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Now we're ready to assemble the salad.
Wash the baby spinach, giving it a shake to remove any excess water. Add the spinach to a large salad bowl along with the fresh basil leaves.
To prepare the rest of the salad, firstly cut the strawberries into halves. Peel the cooked beetroot (you can also use the cooked vacuum packed beetroot that is already peeled) and slice them into thin rounds. Add these to the salad bowl, along with the strawberries, macadamia nuts, griddle figs, and alfalfa and radish sprouts.
Lastly make the dressing. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to a small bowl and lightly whisk to mix, or shake everything together in a jar. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and mix well with a pair of salad tongs.
All Photographs Copyright of Emma Lou Cowell 2015