Summer is in full swing and that means one thing: I’m a grilling machine!
I just love using my grill all summer long. Grilled food just tastes so gosh darn good. And if I’m being completely honest, grilling outside usually means less dishes and less kitchen clean up for me. In addition, my house doesn’t get nearly as hot as it would if I was cooking every single meal inside on the stovetop or in the oven. These are all reasons that I can totally get behind. And they motivate me to try and come up with as many different grilled dishes as possible.
Last year, I had fun experimenting with foods that aren’t “typically” grilled. I made salads, fiery salsas and heck, I even grilled up some watermelon! This year, strawberries were one of the foods on my list of potential grill-ables to try. And given that it’s peak strawberry season right now, I figured it was the perfect time to cross that item off my bucket list.
This Grilled Strawberry and Cucumber Salad is familiar in a lot of ways. The addition of strawberries, walnuts and blue cheese to a mixed green salad is nothing new. But with a few simple tweaks, this traditional salad transforms into something sparkly and new.
First, I grilled both the strawberries and the cucumber slices, which softens them, makes them juicier and brings out all their great flavors. Then I took a cue from Heidi at FoodieCrush and added some tarragon and basil to the dressing, which really enhances the overall freshness of this dish. And finally, because I was feeling all fancy that day, I left the strawberries on the skewers for serving, which makes for a really pretty presentation. That being said, you can certainly remove the strawberries first before adding them to the salad if you’re not keen on the idea of messing around with the skewers while your eating. I just thought it looked impressive, so I couldn’t resist presenting the salad in this way. And it’s a great option to keep in mind if you’re serving this salad to guests.
If blue cheese isn’t your thing, you can certainly substitute it with a few crumbles of goat cheese or feta cheese. And for a vegan option, skip the cheese all together and try adding some sliced avocado for creaminess.
For the Dressing:
For the Salad:
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