Last of summer strawberry salad 

This summer we have had a love affair with strawberries that surely cannot be rivalled. Our local store gets in the biggest, reddest, juiciest ones and I just couldn’t get enough. Never has fruit held so much juicy joy and goodness for me as in these first months of pregnancy, and it is with much excitement that I sit at my parents’ house in Sussex with an orchard full of autumn apples to gather up and bite, peel, core and devour.

Before the new season really sets down, I bought what looked like the last punnet of good strawberries and, since they were a little less sweet and a little more tart than their predecessors, decided to throw them into a last minute raw lunch salad. With some crunchy apples, fresh fuchsia radishes and our favourite smoked tofu, balanced with light, earthy celery and baby green leaves, it was a bowl of surprises and too good not to share. With very rough quantities and the option to add whatever else you feel, this really is a what’s-in-the-fridge recipe and as I grow in boldness around flavour combinations and fruit + vegetable pairings (bolstered by pregnancy? I fear so…), it is always a happy moment where those things that needed using up finally meet a nobler fate than the compost bin or the Vitamix.

I was worried for a moment that unforeseen cravings had led me into creating something just too random but with Ben’s discerning seal of approval I knew it actually worked. We added sheets of nori because they have literally become our daily bread. Even funner than nibbling it is to roll some of the salad up in it – vegan sushi on tap.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

4 or 5 strawberries, sliced

Half a braeburn apple, chopped

1 large stick (or two small sticks) celery, sliced

5 radishes, sliced

A large handful of baby green leaves (lambs lettuce, cress, young spinach or rocket)

6 almonds, chopped and preferably soaked

6-8 strips of smoked non-GMO tofu

Juice of 1/2 large lemon

A drizzle of hemp or olive oil

2 sheets nori

Black sesame seeds to sprinke

Mix everything in a salad bowl, dress, season and taste. Add more lemon, salt, pepper or oil as desired, and serve immediately.

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