Summer Salad

My friend Rachael came to visit last weekend, and we had an oh-so-lovely time together. We went on a hike, got some gelato, hung out, and, of course, cooked together. Or rather, chopped together. We made the most wonderful salad with all sorts of yummy ingredients. And so healthy! Avocado is high in fiber, healthy fats, potassium, and vitamins B, E, and K. Strawberries and bell peppers are high in vitamin A. Tomatoes have lycopene, which has been shown to prevent cancer. Every ingredient in this recipe does something good for you.

The real star of this salad, however, is the dressing. It's the best balsamic vinaigrette I've ever tasted. Our friend Emily found it somewhere online a while back. It pairs so well with the ingredients, especially the strawberries. You can add any vegetables you want to this salad, but I highly recommend including the strawberries.

We paired our salad with some good flaxseed quinoa bread from Whole Foods and a smooth chardonnay.


(Serves about 6 main dishes or a whole lot of side dishes)
1 heart Romaine lettuce, chopped or torn
1 bunch spinach (chopped or torn) or one bag baby spinach
1/2 beefsteak tomato, chopped
1-2 green onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound strawberries, stemmed and sliced
4 oz. feta cheese or crumbled goat cheese
1 cup walnuts
1/2 half red bell pepper
1/2 half yellow bell pepper
1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped

Garnish: 1/2 avocado, diced

Throw everything together but the avocado. Since there is no lime in this recipe, only cut as much avocado as you need to garnish each serving. Otherwise, it will turn brown if you plan on having leftovers.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon shoyu sauce (naturally fermented soy sauce)
1-2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar

In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Store in a glass jar in refrigerator. Keeps for a few weeks when stored in the fridge.