Salad of Strawberries, Raw Artichokes, Taggiasca Olives, and Basil

It’s strawberry season! Here, in a restaurant the instant go-to’s are usually something in the vein of a dessert meaning preserves, pies, galettes, and short cakes. Neglected thoug, are the ways strawberries can fit into a savory dish. Certainly, cooked down to a sauce and intensified with vinegar and sugar, it can serve as a condiment for a fatty roasty animal part particularly something lighter in heft, like pork belly, chicken with the skin on or a piece of roasted fish.

Another idea, something we use in the resto to act as a garnish for roasted fish, is to use Strawberries as part of a tart salad . When I make a salad I usually keep it very simple to let the ingredients shine and work around the broad strokes of something, sweet, something sour, something crunchy, something bitter, something salty, and something colorful. This salad works great on it’s own or parked next to a nice piece of roasted Striped Bass (also in season right now). Whoohoo- a fun seasonal salad that’s tasty and not hard to make? Amaze your friends, make your enemies seithe!

This is a simple salad. Season it anyway you want. This one is dressed with aged sherry vinegar, olive oil and a few drops of maple syrup to balance out all the artichokes.

*Note the raw shaved artichokes in this salad are made by trimming an artichoke in the regular way then cut in half lengthwise with the hairy choke scooped out. To keep it from turning brown and oxidising I sliced it as thin as possible and immediately tossed them into a bowl with the juice of 1 lemon, a splash of olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Tossed in that light dressing they’ll soften up a bit and stay bright and pale. All that’s left to do is slice a few berries, smash a handful of olives and tear some basil and toss them into the chokes. Season it with more salt, some vinegar, and a little something sweet…