I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a weird thing where I wait as long as humanly possible to turn on the air conditioning each summer. Call it pride, call it being a cheapskate about paying the electric bill.
But it gets to the point where I have 2 fans pointed directly at me, laying on the couch in shorts and a tank top in a fashion where no body part is touching another body part. <—– We call that the “husky lay” in honor of our first dog, a Siberian husky, who laid like that whenever the temperature got above 65 degrees. So much fur.
I do eventually cave in each summer and turn on the sweet, sweet relief of blasting cool air. But until then, I need to keep my meals as cold as possible, too. Crisp, cold salads like this one are all I feel like eating when I’m doing the husky lay. I’ve lightly dressed crunchy butter lettuce with a simple balsamic vinaigrette and a sprinkle of Marcona almonds (regular almonds work fine here, too).
Because balsamic vinegar and strawberries are a natural flavor pairing, I bulked up my summer salad with a side of crostini topped with creamy ricotta cheese (equally dreamy in cannoli dip) and sliced strawberries. I did turn on the broiler for a hot minute to toast the baguette, but you could also do this in a toaster or toaster oven. Or, if it’s really hot, just don’t toast the bread at all. I won’t tell anybody. Stay cool this summer!
- 1 whole grain baguette, thinly sliced on a diagonal (about 12 slices)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 medium heads butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 6 tablespoons Marcona almonds or sliced regular almonds
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
- Heat broiler to high heat. Place baguette slices on rimmed baking pan and lightly brush with 2 tablespoons oil. Place under broiler and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp, watching very carefully.
- Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) oil until all oil is incorporated. Add lettuce and almonds; gently toss to combine. Divide salad between 4 plates.
- Spread crostini with ricotta and divide strawberries over ricotta. Divide crostini between salad plates and serve immediately.
More yummy strawberry recipes:
- Double Strawberry Moscow Mules – what makes them DOUBLE strawberry? Go find out!
- Strawberry-Ginger Lemonade – nothing could be more refreshing.
- Strawberry Pop-Tart Ice Cream – homemade ice cream is a project worth taking on!
- Cannoli Strawberries – a super simple no-bake dessert.
- Strawberry Crumb Bars from Flavor Mosaic
- Strawberry Honey Butter from Belly Full