I'll try to be a little less loquacious today, because you don't need me and my chattiness getting in the way of what's really a very simple, very straightforward recipe.
Take green stuff. Wash and dry it. Dress with olive oil and salt. Put strawberries, luscious perfectly ripe farmer's market strawberries, on top. Add chopped almonds. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. DONE.
(Yeah, that pea shoot in the bottom right looks vaguely threatening, doesn't it? Indeed the pea shoots make eating the salad a little snarlier than it would otherwise be.)
In the case of this particular salad, "green stuff" included quite a few things -- those pea shoots, of course, plus endive, watercress, and mint. You don't need to go so far. Just endive alone would be great. The extra advantage of using a sturdy, bitter green like endive is that this salad holds up beautifully over time. The picture above was taken about four hours after the salad was initially dressed (did I mention the depleted camera battery?) and I actually had the leftovers for lunch the next day. The only thing that wilted in the meantime was the mint.
(If you'd rather have a less bitter green, although I personally liked the bitterness playing against the sweet berries, you could also do this with romaine, though it will not hold up quite as long.)
My husband, who knows me all too well, listened as I described my plans for this salad and said, "You know what else would be good in that? Goat cheese." Ohhhh yes. Yes it would.
The funny thing about this salad is that in my head, for a week, it was a peach salad. I did exactly what I always tell people not to do: get really attached to a plan and ignore what's actually in season. But in this case I was saved from myself. It isn't the season for peaches. It is so not the season for peaches, in fact, that not only couldn't I get them at the farmer's market, they also weren't selling them at either FreshDirect or Whole Foods. I got strawberries instead, and traded out a more formal vinaigrette for a splash of balsamic, and here we are with a great salad that I now expect to make, like yesterday's soup, over and over again.
(Possibly as soon as tomorrow.)