Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Lime Dill Vinaigrette

Strawberry salad with cucumbers kohlrabi and lime dill vinaigrette

Last week at the farmer’s market next to my office building, I found my first local strawberries of the season.  Oh, how I’ve impatiently waited for this day.  I loooove strawberries.  I can eat a full litre basket of them in one day.  But the strawberries that are worthy of gluttony are local ones.

Local strawberries are so different from the berries available the rest of the year at the grocery store (imported from Florida and California) as to seem to be an almost entirely different fruit.

Grocery store berries are varieties that travel well.  They aren’t necessarily fully ripe when picked, but they hold their shape well and they have a relatively long shelf life (for berries).  Flavour isn’t the major factor when choosing varieties of strawberries that will face long distance travel.

The varieties of strawberries that are grown locally, and sold locally, are all about the flavour.  They are usually a smaller berry.  What these berries lack in size they make up for in flavour.  These berries are  sweet and juicy.  They can easily be damaged when packed into containers, and because they are fully ripe when picked, they will spoil relatively quickly.  I’m not usually too worried about spoiled berries, as I tend to eat them very quickly.

I was eager to go to the farmer’s market on my lunch break on Thursday, as I was certain there would be some strawberries.  I was not disappointed.  Two vendors had some.  Score!  I bought a basket from each.  I had big plans for the berries.

local strawberries

In addition to the strawberries, there were other great finds at the market.  Aren’t the baby beets and kohlrabi cute?

fresh local vegetables, cucumbers, kohlrabi, baby beets and spring mix

Equipped with the strawberries and fresh vegetables, once home I put together this strawberry cucumber salad.  This salad has no leafy greens in it.  It’s still a salad though.  I’ve been enjoying lots of leafy green salads this spring, but thought it was the time to branch out.

In order to give the salad a bit of crunch, I added some kohlrabi.  If you don’t have kohlrabi, you could use carrots, celery or sweet peppers.  Or you could add some seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower.

One of the great things about salad is that it doesn’t need to follow a set formula.  You can throw in what seems appealing or what you have on hand.  No two salads are ever exactly alike, which is great, as it keeps things exciting.

One thing I have learnt about creating a good salad.  The choice of vinaigrette has a big impact on the final result.  I was quite selective when choosing vinaigrette for this salad.  I used dill in the vinaigrette as dill goes very well with cucumbers, and with strawberries.  I like citrus in my vinaigrette, and the citrus of the moment is lime.  The tartness of the lime is a good counterpoint to the sweetness of the berries.

strawberry and cucumber salad with lime and dill vinaigrette

You may be familiar with the current trend of mason jar salads.  You may even love mason jar salads.  I don’t.  I don’t like the idea of packing my salad so tightly into such a small space.  I also don’t want my dressing in my salad hours, or even days, before I eat it.  And the final nail in the coffin for me is that mason jars are just too darn heavy!  I take the bus to work, and I don’t need the extra weight of the glass jar when the bus is full and I have to stand the whole way home.  Give me these lightweight containers that have lots of space and keep the dressing nicely segregated from the salad until I am ready to eat it any day.

vinaigrette lime dill

All that said mason jars do have a role to play in salads.  But for the vinaigrette.  A small mason jar is the perfect vessel for making the vinaigrette and storing it.  Place or pour all your ingredients directly into the jar, put on the lid and shake the jar.  Voilà, a jar of vinaigrette.  If you have more vinaigrette than you will use during that one meal, simply put the lid back on and put it in the fridge.  You now have vinaigrette to use over the course of the upcoming week.

 

Recipe:  Lime Dill Vinaigrette

Makes about 1/3 cup (85 mL)

recipe for lime dill vinaigrette

 

Ingredients:

  • Juice of one lime (about 1 ½ tablespoons, 22 mL)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients into small mason jar (250 mL), place lid on jar and shake until well mixed.
  2. Store leftover vinaigrette in fridge for up to about one week.

 

Recipe:  Strawberry Cucumber Salad

lime dill vinaigrette with strawberry cucumber salad

Ingredients:

  • Strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped into quarters
  • Cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • Kohlrabi, peeled and chopped into matchsticks

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in large bowl and pour lime dill vinaigrette over it.
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Product Review – Glad To Go Lunch Containers

Do you like bringing salad in your lunch?  Do you hate the mess that often results from trying to transport salad dressing?  So do I.  My problem has finally been solved, with Glad’s To Go Lunch containers.

Note:  I have not received compensation in any form for reviewing this product.  It’s simply a product that I use because it has solved a problem for me.  My thoughts are that if I had that problem, others must too, and maybe this could help some of them.

Until I discovered Glad’s To Go Lunch containers, my biggest challenge with bringing salad in my lunch was figuring out how to transport the dressing.  Bringing the whole bottle was too much, and it usually left everything in my lunch bag oily.  Adding the dressing at home was not an option, as that would lead to limp, gross salad greens.  Not what I want to eat for lunch.

Finding an appropriate container for the salad dressing was challenging. We tried many.  None of them were quite right.

dressing containers

Two years ago, I found the solution to my lunch salad problem:  Glad To Go Lunch containers.

the solution to my lunch salad dilemma

I love these containers.  They have solved the problem of how to transport salad dressing without making a mess in my lunch bag.

the perfect container for salad dressing

The container for the dressing snaps into the lid.  Then the large lid closes the container that contains the salad.  The dressing stays put in the small container.  Even if it did leak, it would only leak onto the salad itself.  So far, knock on wood, mine haven’t leaked.

I also really like the size of the dressing container.  It is small.  If full to the brim, it holds 3 tablespoons (45 mL).  I usually fill mine about half way, so I bring about 1.5 tablespoons of dressing.  That is the right amount for my salad.  This means I don’t add too much dressing to my salad, and I don’t bring an excess that goes to waste.

the right amount of salad dressing

The other containers I tried for dressing just didn’t cut it. Although the one with the o-ring doesn’t leak, it’s just too big.  It holds a half cup (125 mL) of liquid. As it is so large, it is very easy to add way to much dressing.  An amount that would be appropriate for a salad looks lost in this container.  When we used these containers, salad dressing was almost always wasted.

lunch salads  What about the salad itself?

I like the size of the main compartment of this container.    It holds a bit more than 4 cups.  My salads are usually around 2 to 3 cups.  The container is big enough for my needs, but doesn’t take up more space than necessary.

Bringing salad for lunch

All in all, I think that the To Go Lunch containers by Glad are brilliant.  They have been a great solution to my salad transportation dilemma.  I bring salads to work more frequently now, as I have the right tool for the job.

Everyone at work who has seen me with my containers starts by laughing a bit.  When they see how the container works, they are impressed and think this is a great container.  They like it so much that several of my colleagues now have some Glad To Go Lunch containers of their own.  Salad consumption is on the rise in my workplace.

Glad To Go Lunch containers get 5 stars from me.

Have you found a product that has solved a problem for you?  If so, please share in the comments.  Other might have the same problem to solve.