Monday, 23 July 2018
Recipe: Fried Feta & Strawberry Salad with Avocado
When I lived in California, I used to get punnets upon punnets of plump, juicy California strawberries from the Thursday farmers market. I made shortcakes, yogurt bowls and used them to top my morning oatmeal, but I also started putting them in my salads. It is a habit I’ve kept hold of every summer when British strawberries get fat, juicy and delicious, and paired with honey drizzled, creamy fried feta (crisp on the outside, warm, tangy and melty in the middle) pieces I make to use up extra hunks of cheese from other recipes (it goes off so quickly once it has been opened!) and cubed chunks of creamy avocado they make the perfect salad for the height of summer. Add some lightly toasted pine nuts for a bit of crunch and a tangy, honey strawberry balsamic dressing I apologise if you become as addicted to this salad as I am!
I know edible flowers are a bit of a cliche, but I still think they look so pretty in a salad. I never buy them by themselves, I tend to buy bags of mixed salad leaves which have the flowers in them already – at the moment I’m loving Waitrose’s Pea Shoots & Edible Flowers mix. For the dressing I’ve used a strawberry balsamic (I have one I adore from Il Gusto that I picked up in York – their pineapple white balsamic is also excellent!) – if you can’t find one, any high quality balsamic vinegar would also be delicious in this recipe.
I’ve put this recipe together to serve two as I find that gives you the best amount of avocado per person, but you can always eat a bit more or use a smaller avocado for just one of you! Also, do just use my measurements for the feta as a guide; while I do also stock Odysea Feta Portions in my fridge to cut down on waste, this recipe is designed to use up leftover feta from a bigger block which will spoil quickly once opened, so don’t worry if you have a bit too much or not quite enough!
A delicious, summery salad that makes the most of leftover pieces of feta by gently frying them, tossed in a little bit of seasoned flour.
- 4 Large Handfuls Mixed Salad Leaves
- 1 Ripe Avocado, cubed
- 2 Large Handfuls Strawberries, hulled and quartered
- Small Handful Pine Nuts, lightly toasted
- 60g Feta (0.5 oz), cut into 1/2 cm slices
- 4 tbsp Plain (All Purpose Flour)
- Vegetable or Light Olive Oil
- 1 Small Egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsp Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Runny Honey
- Edible Flowers (optional, to decorate)
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Arrange the salad leaves, avocado and strawberries in two salad bowls, and sprinkle over the pine nuts.
- Dust the feta slices with the flour, and heat enough oil to just cover the bottom of a small frying pan over a medium high heat until the oil is shimmering.
- Dip the floured feta pieces in the egg and fry for a minute or two until golden on each side. Do this in batches, setting the pieces aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain off some of the excess oil.
- While the cheese is frying, whisk together the vinegar, oil and honey to make the dressing. A lot of this is about personal taste. If you don’t think it tastes bright enough, add more vinegar. If you don’t think it is sweet enough, add more honey. If you want to dampen down the flavours a little, add more oil.
- Arrange the fried cheese pieces and the edible flowers around the strawberry and avocado pieces, and drizzle generously with the dressing.
- Finish each bowl with a good grind of black pepper and serve immediately.