Here is some 4th of July trivia for you...
On July 4th, 1777, the newly formed United States Congress authorized a celebratory fireworks display in Philadelphia, Pa. Ships in the harbor were decorated for the occasion, and -- according to research conducted by James R. Heintze of American University -- rockets were fired into the air that night that exploded into the shape of 13 stars.* That was the beginning of our 4th of July fireworks tradition!
Soft Goat Cheese
Grilled Chicken or salmon--optional
Note: Don't eat dairy? Substitute white beans or a nut cheese for the goat cheese.
Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
enough for 4 main course sized salads
1.5 cups fresh strawberries
1T Fresh lemon juice
1.5T white balsamic vinegar
1 T honey--to taste
4-5 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil or you could use a lighter olive oil or nut oil such as almond or walnut oil
1/4-1/2 t sea salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
You can add a teaspoon of chopped shallot or red onion if you'd like.
Place all dressing ingredients into a blender except oil and blend until smooth. With blender running, drizzle the olive oil in. Taste by dipping in a spinach leaf. Adjust honey, salt and pepper to taste. The amount of honey you need will depend on the sweetness of the strawberries.
Note: to toast pecans, place them on a toaster oven tray and bake about 5 minutes on 300--until you just start to smell them. Watch them closely because nuts burn easily. Alternately, you can toast them in a pan on the stove shaking the pan to prevent burning.
To assemble the salad, layer baby spinach, then sliced strawberries and chunks of soft goat cheese, then top with blueberries and toasted pecans.
If you would like your salad as a main course, you can add grilled chicken or grilled or poached salmon.
Drizzle with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing and Enjoy!
Inspired by the Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar's Strawberry Patch Chicken Salad