We had a really beautiful day here today. (It is Monday as I am writing this.) There were the odd showers, but for the most part it was sunny and dry, and fairly warm, as long as you were out of the wind. Pity it hadn't been like this yesterday during the Thames Jubilee Pageant . . . but it looks to be a lovely evening for the concert tonight at Buckingham Palace!
The shop shelves are starting to fill up with early British Strawberries now. My plants in the garden have small green berries on them, but it's far too early yet for us to be eating our own. (I do hope we get a taste before we go away at the end of the month. I would hate to miss them!!)
There is nothing more beautiful to the taste . . . than a lovely British Strawberry. Seriously. The strawberries over here taste like the memory of berries from my childhood . . . you know the kind I mean . . . the ones you pinched and ate when nobody was looking, when you were crouched down picking strawberries for a summer job. Back breaking labour . . . yes. Very little pay . . . yes . . . fringe benefits . . . all the berries you could eat without being caught!! (I know. I am a naughty girl!)
Anyways, British strawberries. I love them. I can't get enough of them during strawberry season, seriously. I only ever very rarely have any at any other time of the year. Those out of season berries never fail to disappoint, which is rather good in a way, because it makes me appreciate these seasonal British summer berries all the more!
I love to show case them in many ways . . . pies, crumbles, cakes . . . shortcakes! I like to eat them on my cereal in the morning, and just out of hand as a snack.
Today I made this irresistibly deliciously different salad . . . which perfectly showcases these beautiful berries.
A lovely apple balsamic dressing, flavoured lightly with shallots . . . salty proscuitto crudo, mild and creamy buffalo mozzarella cheese, meaty and spicy wild rocket . . . and beautifully ripe and sweet British Strawberries.
I'm sure you'll absolutely adore this. We did. (adapted from a Waitrose Seasonss cookbooklet, 2009)
*Strawberry and Mozzarella Salad*
A delicious salad, which is not only simple and quick to make but makes a great and unsual use of seasonal berries.
2 TBS Apple Balsamic Vinegar
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp caster sugar (fine sugar)
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
2 X 80g packs or Italian Proscuitto Crudo (about 8 thin slices)
1 ball of Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese, drained and torn (about 1/4 pound)
250g of strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced (1/4 pound)
2 X 50g packs of wild rocket leaves, washed and dried (about 4 cups, arugula)
Whisk the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar and shallots together in a large bowl. Season well with black pepper. Set aside.
Divide the proscuitto between 4 chilled salad plates. Scatter with the mozzarella. Toss the strawberries and rocket into the bowl with the dressing. Toss gently to coat. Divide equally amongst the salad plates, placing it on top of the meat and cheese. Drizzle any leftover dressing over top . Serve immediately.
Note - You won't need any salt as the proscuitto is quite salty.