strawberry walnut salad

do you ever eat something that leaves you completely full but totally wanting more just so that you can keep that taste in your mouth? this salad did that for me.
I'm a huge salad critic. as I mentioned in my first post here, I knew more about Caesar salads when I was a kid than most people. I knew which places had the best, which spots made the dressing table side, and which served them with olives or other weird things that didn't belong. my love for salad has transfered to my home cooking quite often. I love to make a big salad in a big bowl, mix up some homemade dressing at the bottom, throw in some veggies, nuts, or fruit, and toss lightly with spinach, fresh herbs, and greens. just as I like to experiment with pizza, I like to play with salad too.

Strawberry Walnut Salad
makes one large salad
enough for 2 dinner sized salads or 4 side salads.

:: for dressing ::
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
splash of cranberry juice {I use 100% cranberry juice with no sugar added because it's tarter}
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

• whisk all ingredients in bottom of bowl until combined.

:: for croutons ::
2 slices of bread, cut into 1" slices
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese

• arrange croutons on a baking sheet.
• drizzle olive oil on croutons and using your hands, toss them on the sheet to cover completely with oil.
• sprinkle oregano and Parmesan on top.
• broil for 5 mins or until golden brown.

:: for salad ::
5 large strawberries, sliced thinly

1 link smoked sausage, sliced and cooked*
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
about 4 cups of fresh salad greens, I use the fresh herb mix that has dill, parsley, and other herbs mixed in it.
Parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper

*I use Field Roast smoked apple sage vegetarian sausage, and I slice it then cook it on medium heat with a little bit of olive oil until the edges are browned, about 5 minutes.

• in the same bowl that you prepared the dressing in, mix together the strawberries, sausage, walnuts, croutons, and greens and toss lightly to cover with dressing. divide onto bowls and top with Parmesan cheese and fresh pepper, then serve.

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Blogger Jessie Cacciola said...

wow, first time I'm here...these recipe's are so great.
- Jessie -

May 21, 2008 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger aimee heff said...

my mouth is watering. thank you for the pdf. that is delightful to be able to easily save it in my recipe folder. much appreciated.

May 21, 2008 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Aran said...

I tried to leave you a comment but for some reason it didn't save it... oops... I wanted to say how refreshing and hearty this sald looks. I actually just made myself a salad for dinner with greens, salmon, tomatoes and baked sweet potato fries. Whatever I found in my fridge. Your photos are simple but beautiful.

May 21, 2008 at 4:06 PM  
Anonymous lucy said...

i'll take a homemade salad dressing over a bottled one any day.
and strawberries+walnuts?
yes, please.

May 21, 2008 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger erica said...

strawberries and walnuts? yum! the dressing sounds delicious.

May 22, 2008 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

This looks and sounds A-MAZING!

May 22, 2008 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger shaybelle said...

I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. We opted to nix the sausage because we only had morning star breakfast fauxsage links in the freezer and that just wouldn't do.

Even without it was grrreat!

Thanks for helping me be a better dinner-maker Alyson!

May 23, 2008 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Tartelette said...

I can never get enough of strawberry and esclun or spinach with pecans and a little shaved parmesan. It's my drug!

June 3, 2008 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Sara Christine said...

I made this salad last night and it was SO DELICIOUS! The savory flavor of the sausage mixed with strawberries and that simple dressing...yum! I used chicken apple sausage from the meat counter at Whole Foods, it worked perfectly. Can't wait to try more great recipes!

June 24, 2008 at 2:50 PM  

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