What with the approach of Wimbledon, the return of the sun (well sort of) and the wonderful light evenings, it can only mean that the wonderful British strawberry season is now here. Which means big, fat, red strawberries that are actually sweet, rather than the rather insipid, pale early season ones. Of course this means a glut of strawberry desserts and I can promise you plenty of those in the weeks to come but today’s recipe was inspired by a few different posts seen online using strawberries in savoury dishes. Now this isn’t as odd as it might at first sound; afterall we pair apricots with lamb quite happily, and orange with duck, not to mention putting citrus dressing on salads, so adding strawberries to a salad for example shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. For this I used my standard salad with some baby gem lettuce, a few little jewels of cucumber and red pepper, and some avocado and of course bacon to give it body and turn it into a meal. It was just topped with a very very light dressing so as not to overpower the other flavours. The result? Well, oddly enough my first thought when I took a bite was “This tastes like a Hawaiian pizza”. Of course it didn’t quite have the same stringy-cheesey texture, and was missing the dough, and the tomato sauce…. but the combination of salty, smoky bacon and the sweet, slightly tart strawberry reminded me of that awesome pizza combination. So my recommendation; if you think Hawaiian pizzas are amazing, or even just like them, then you’ll love this salad. If you think pineapple and ham should never been seen together on a pizza (or even a stick) then I think perhaps you’re a lost cause; stick to strawberries for dessert.
Strawberry, bacon and avocado salad
Inspired by Eat Make Read
75g (3 thick rashers) bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 baby gem lettuces
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 avocado, stoned and cubed
200g (roughly 12 large fat) strawberries, hulled and halved
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1. In a large frying pan over a high heat fry the bacon pieces until browned. Drain off any excess fat and set aside to cool briefly.
2. In a large bowl mix the lettuce leaves, diced tomatoes, diced pepper, cucumber sliced and avocado cubes. Add the hulled, halved strawberries and the cooked bacon pieces.
3. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad, toss well to coat everything, and serve immediately.
Serves 2 (as a main).