This morning I’ve been for a run around the harbour and a quick dip in Oriental Bay on the way home. Spring has a bad reputation in Wellington (expressed best in this calendar), but today feels like one of those mythical ‘can’t beat it on a good day’ days that the city’s tourism campaigns are built on.
Spring, of course, means strawberries. Like living through a brutal Wellington spring day, growing good strawberries is mostly an exercise in hope triumphing over experience; some years are better than others. I’m stil optimistic that my homegrown crop will come good. If you’ve got a surfeit of strawberries from your own garden, try them in this exceedingly pretty and festive-looking salad (from the Spring section of Homecooked).
STRAWBERRY, RADISH AND CUCUMBER SALAD WITH MINT DRESSING
This is one of my favourite photos from Homecooked, not least because photographer Carolyn Robertson and I spent AGES trying to figure out all sorts of different ways to shoot it. Then we got over ourselves, I just threw the salad together and the photo more or less took itself (well, with Caro’s exceptional skills involved!)
For the dressing:
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, washed and dried
- ½ tsp honey
- 3½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
For the salad:
- 250g (1 punnet) strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
- 1 medium-sized telegraph cucumber, peeled, deseeded and sliced
- 1 cup sliced radishes (about a small bunch, depending on size)
- 150g feta, crumbled
- small mint leaves, for garnishing
Make the dressing ﬁrst: put all the ingredients in a blender or small food processor and whiz until smooth. Taste for seasoning and set aside.
Tumble the sliced strawberries, cucumber, radishes and crumbled feta into a serving bowl. Drizzle over the dressing and toss gently. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.
Have you got any strawberry growing tips? Do share!