Most of you probably have realized that I do not cook often. However, I recently discovered the most delicious salad that I think I have ever eaten! It is Trisha Yearwood's Strawberry Salad and I will share the recipe at the end of the post. Trisha Yearwood is a singing star who is now married to Garth Brooks. Her home town of Monticello, Georgia is near where I live. Sadly, the closest that I have ever come to seeing her was once in Monticello, when I was passing through with a group of school children that I had driven on a field trip. We stopped at the local Dairy Queen and her bus pulled up just as we were going into the restaurant. We were so excited, but no Trisha - only her "roadies" who were stopping for a treat!
Not only does Trisha's salad taste wonderful, but it looks beautiful! I love the way the red strawberries look against the green spinach and Romain lettuce.
Since I set this table for Kathleen of Cuisine Kathleen in response to her latest challenge of setting a Spring table, I supposed that I should discuss the tableware a little, before getting back to the food! I used a Ralph Lauren tablecloth that I have had forever. Sorry, but I do not remember the pattern name. On top, I used older beige placemats and a new Bordallo Piheiro "Cabbage" charger. The dinner plate is "Pearl" by J C Penney from Replacements and the salad plate is a wonderful piece that I discovered at Maryland China in their clearance section. I love the pattern of pretty Spring flowers and the reticulated edges. These plates are by Thun.
I used emerald green "Momento" napkins by Sferra, flatware by Barenthol, "Delilah" water goblets by Schott-Zwiesel, and a green balloon wine glass by an unknown maker.
The beautiful cut crystal bowl was a gift from a member of my husband's family. Oh, how I love this piece!!
Now, for the good part - the recipe for the salad:
Trisha Yearwood's Strawberry Salad (serves 6)
1 package of Ramen Noodles, crushed, flavor packet discarded
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (I use sunflower kernels, already roasted - more about that later)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 head Romain lettuce, washed and dried
1 5-oz bag baby spinach
1 pint strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix the crushed Ramen Noodles, almonds, sunflower seeds (or kernels) and melted butter. Transfer to a baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
*** My note. If you use the pre-roasted sunflower kernels (I use Planters Dry Roasted ones), wait until after baking the other ingredients to add them or they will burn. I just add them into the mixture, coating them with the butter, after removing the rest of the mixture from the oven. Also, after the first time that I made this, I cut down on the amount of butter stated in the recipe. I had to blot the mixture with many paper towels, because I thought the mixture was too greasy. However, this is something you can do "to taste", I think.***
Tear the lettuce and combine with the spinach, strawberries and cheese in a large salad bowl.
Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar. Combine the oil, paprika, salt and garlic and then add to the sugar-vinegar mixture. Mix well and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Just before serving, sprinkle the crunchy topping over the salad greens and toss the salad with enough dressing to coat.
*** One more note from me. I do not eat salad dressings, so I cannot vouch for this one. I did make it once with a little garlic power, instead of the actual garlic and someone asked for the recipe. However, the other times that I have served it to guests, I have used a high quality raspberry-walnut vinaigrette that I purchased at the store. I really do not think it matters, since the salad and topping are so fabulous!***
I do hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as I have. It is one of those fabulous recipes that you can personalize - the next time I prepare it, I am going to add some Mandarin oranges. I would love to know what would you like to add to suit your taste...
Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish
Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays