The beauty of the non-recipe: Jael’s strawberry salad

by Camille on May 24, 2010

I know my way around the kitchen as well as the next person. Which means while I’m comfortable cooking for a crowd, I’m also more than a little intimidated by culinary geniuses like my friend and fellow author Jael McHenry. Jael had me over for dinner last week, and let’s just say that her meal was better than anything I’d had in a restaurant in months, if not the whole year.

What I really loved about Jael’s cuisine was that it left me completely inspired–which is really what a great meal should do, I think. The main dish was a chorizo soup with homemade croutons (so perfect I’m salivating just thinking about it) But what really wowed me was her salad. It was deceptively simple: some greens, including endive, and a generous serving of fresh farm market strawberries and chopped almonds. I thought for sure that the dressing–which pulled all of the amazing flavors together in just the right way–was some complicated concoction. Nope. Jael confessed that it was nothing more than olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some salt.

Point being, you must try this salad; I know I’ll be attempting to recreate it this week. You can find the instructions (there’s no real recipe to it) here, and check out Jael’s blog for other great recipes and thoughts on writing, too.


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Jen May 24, 2010 at 11:26 am

Strawberries are so good right now. I was out of town this weekend so I missed my local farmers market (you only get the farmers market in Baltimore on the weekends), but I’m keeping this in mind for next weekend. I like Jael’s idea of adding goat cheese too. Thanks for the idea!

jael May 25, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Thanks for the lovely writeup, Camille! I am definitely making this again, and am also planning to adapt it for use as an appetizer by taking individual endive leaves and putting strawberries, goat cheese, and almonds inside, drizzled with reduced balsamic. Like Jen said, now is definitely the time for strawberries. Gettin’ em while the gettin’s good.

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