Monday, August 13, 2012

Favorite Summer Salad

What is the recipe for a perfect summer Sunday?

For me it is waking up early enough to eat a good breakfast, teaching Sunday School to a group of 4 year olds, attending a particularly good worship service at church, a long brunch at Avenida, curling up on the couch to watch a movie with friends, a long run on Kelly Drive as day turns to night, and eating my favorite summer salad for dinner when I finally make it home at 9:30.

So what is the recipe for my favorite summer salad?

-Red Onion
-Feta Cheese
-Balsamic Reduction

Top a bed of arugula with diced strawberries, very thinly sliced red onion, and crumbled feta cheese.  Drizzle the salad with homemade balsamic reduction instead of a fatty salad dressing.  That's it my friends.

Never made homemade balsamic reduction before?  Well guess what, it's super easy to do!  Simply pour an entire 16 oz bottle of balsamic vinegar into a saucepan on the stove top.  Heat the vinegar just until it boils, and then immediately turn the heat down to a simmer.  Continue to simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The 16 oz will cook down to about 4 oz, thickening as it reduces.  Keep a close eye on the vinegar once it gets thick, stirring more often to avoid burning.  The desired consistency is very syrupy and will stick to the back of a wooden spoon.  The flavor is a sweeter, bolder version of the raw balsamic vinegar.  Pour the reduction into a small mason jar or other airtight container for storage.

At first glance this salad may seem too simple, but trust me when  I say it is perfect!  The flavors of the peppery arugula, sweet berries, sharp onions, creamy cheese, and bold dressing compliment each other so well that the addition of any other ingredients will only detract from taste of summer in each bite.

Here's to ending the weekend the right way!!  ...and a little something to help you get back into the weekly grind.

Tall One

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