My walkway has strawberry plants creeping all along the edges. Little white strawberry flowers have just opened, pressing their way sky-ward. In the early Summer, I get to pluck the tiny strawberries from these winding plants. Too precious for pie. Best eaten raw and warm from sunlight.
I notice how, year after year, the sense of seasonal preciousness fades. Violets stick out their purple-white tongues. Dandelions shake out their yellow manes. I watch a wasp with one wing spin desperately on the sidewalk. Electric pink tulip petals curl, fall and crumple like forgotten skirts in the grass. The cherry tree is wind-swept — the last of the white cherry blossoms huddling together in solidarity.
I can’t help but see metaphor in flora and fauna. My human mind is designed for story in this way. The broken wasp is not just a wasp, it’s us — struggling against the injustice of this world. The cherry blossom is beauty incarnate, breathtaking, illuminating… then gone.
In this way I spend my time hanging out on my front stoop, watching the gorgeous chaos of nature weave itself into a tapestry of story. On some days it’s just my yard, with that bush over there and that wonky patch of grass. But other days, it’s full of wonder. Bumblebees mistake me for sugar-laden buds, lingering curiously around my feet and ankles. A bowl of this strawberry salad in my hands. Mockingbirds catch insects in their mouths. An orange-striped cat slinks through the yard. And the painfully romantic sound of the violin being practiced by our neighbor slinks its way into my eardrum.
I love to find beauty in simple things. And in that way, this simple strawberry salad is really something special. It’s wonderfully relaxed. Fresh, lemony, creamy and bright.
Baby greens meet silky carrot ribbons and sweet strawberries. The hemp dressing is rich in protein and anti-inflammatory omega 3’s. And it’s a snap to whip up.
Flavor-wise, this salad is most like a springy take on a classic Caesar salad. Albeit lighter, more lemony and omitting the anchovy element. So, Caesar salad meets full on spring vibes! You might even grate some fresh parmesan overtop if you’re not vegan. That really kicks it up to the next level!
When I made this I crushed two bowls to myself for a light lunch, then saved the rest to go alongside a lentil-heavy veggie burger for dinner. It was the most pleasant way to use up my first CSA box full of spring lettuces, baby kale and pea shoots! I think I’ll make this strawberry salad and some stacked greenie sandwiches for a chill picnic some day this week. Spring is hands down my favorite season for eating outdoors. No bugs, sunshine and the scent of flowers filling the air. What could be better?
I hope you enjoy this recipe, friends! And, hey, if you’d like to join me for a hangout on Nom.com tomorrow 3/20 at 3pm EST I’ll be making some fabulous fig almond cocoa cookies LIVE! See you there!0