Sunday, August 5, 2007

Strawberry and Blue Cheese Salad

Strawberry and Blue Cheese Salad

Remember the strawberry and cheese scene in Ratatouille? Remy first takes a bite of the cheese, which creates an upbeat, robust swirl of flavor. Then he takes a bite of the strawberry and tastes a more delicate, twinkling ripple. But together, they create an exciting taste epiphany that ignites bright yellow and red fireworks that dance and sparkle. For me, my taste epiphany came with the combination of strawberries and blue cheese. The sweet and light summer berry paired perfectly with the strong salty flavors of the blue cheese, each with their own captivating fragrance. Now this may not be a combination for everyone, maybe it's just me (I hope it's not too weird combining blue cheese and strawberries), but I loved every minute of this salad. Sadly strawberry season is nearing an end or already over and this was one of the last dishes that I made with this year's berries.

Notes:
- At the time I only had Romaine lettuce but I think this salad would have worked much better with baby spinach greens, which are richer and can better handle the strong flavors in this salad.
- Strawberries are often paired with balsamic vinegar so naturally I made a balsamic honey vinaigrette
- I chose berries that weren't extremely sweet because I didn't want them to overpower all the other flavors in the salad.

Strawberry and Blue Cheese Salad

I don't have an exact recipe since salads are more of "throw stuff in" sort of dish for me but the main players are:
Greens: Baby spinach preferably (but Romaine pictured here)
Strawberries
Blue Cheese: I used Danish blue but I'm sure Gorgonzola would have worked also
Pistachios: they added a nice crunch and lively light green color

Optional:
Bacon: I love bacon, but this salad didn't need it (I used it here though)

Crisp your bacon if using, and set aside to cool on a paper towel lined plate. Crumble before serving.

Crumble your blue cheese, roughly chop the pistachios, quarter the strawberries.

Toss everything together with the vinaigrette.


Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 - 1 tsp honey
Freshly ground pepper (no salt because there was enough from the cheese and bacon in the salad)

I add all the ingredients to a small clean jar and shake until everything is emulsified. I find this is the easiest way to make a small amount of dressing. Alternatively you can whisk everything together while drizzling in the olive oil.

Cool Link:
Check out how the tastes visualizations were developed for Ratatouille (the best movie of the summer if not the year, hands down).

15 comments:

Lydia said...

Years ago someone brought a strawberry and green bean salad to a dinner party, and I was amazed at how delicious the strawberries were. A bit of blue cheese on top completed the dish. It was a revelation -- the combination of flavors just perfect.

Peabody said...

Oh you must always have the option of bacon!

SteamyKitchen said...

I'm going to make this tonight! I had brought Andrew to see the movie and he loved it....I wonder if he'll remember the strawberry and blue cheese moment?

veron said...

The hubby always put's strawberry in the salad whenever they are available...then he grates parmesan cheese on it. Plus of course he uses a balsamic vinaigrette. Everyone says it is the best salad. Now I need to try it with blue cheese...this looks amazing,Amy!

Kalyn said...

Love the sound of strawberries and blue cheese together!

Bettina said...

tehehehe, the pictures of remy and his brother are so cute on that page (at the bottom)!! yay, that movie was so good....i can watch it again and again and still find it hilarious!

Beth said...

This sounds good. I once had raw pear slices served with blue cheese at a tapas restaurant. I'll definitely have to try the strawberries.

tigerfish said...

I've been wanting to add berries to savory salads but guess I miss this season :(

Valli said...

The addition of blue cheese would be heavenly. What a wonderful taste sensation this salad would make!!

Sig said...

that looks yummy, I can't believe I still haven't seen Ratatouille :(, now you are really tempting me...

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Yup, strawberries, blue cheese and baby spinach. :)

Amy said...

Lydia,
Isn't it great trying new flavor combos!

Peabody,
Definitely, bacon is always an option here. ;D

Jaden,
Hehe it was an awfully cute scene. I'm not sure what kind of cheese it was, some sort of yellow one.

Veron,
Try and see if you like it! :D I'll have to try it with parm.

Kalyn,
I was really glad I tried the combo since I ended up liking it so much. :)

Bettina,
Aw I know, I was so happy I stumbled on that site, really cute to see how the animations were developed. Using imagery and music to describe taste was brilliant.

Beth,
Pear sounds like it will be delicious with blue cheese, I'll have to try that in my next salad.

Tigerfish,
Aw I still see some berries on sale at the store from Cali, maybe you can still get some.

Valli,
I loved the different textures in the salad too.

Sig,
You must must must go see it!

WC,
I really wished I had some baby spinach that day, next time! :)

Kristen said...

I love strawberries in salad. This is going into my saved files!

Classic Salads said...

My close friend makes a salad just like this... YUM!

LML said...

awesome salad! i added a few squeezes of lemon and wow!! love this!

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