Strawberry Spring Salad with Cilantro Flowers

I always say I should eat more salads.  I like them, seriously.  Usually, they seem like too much work just to make for myself.  When I do, I like to keep them simple yet full of flavor and different textures.  To be honest, I went to the farmer's market with no preconceived notion of what kind of salad to make; whatever looked good to me.  The strawberries right now are so aromatic and cheap ($5 for 3 baskets), simply irresistible.  Then I came across something that looked like dill with pretty tiny flowers, but knew it was not dill.  When I asked the farmer what it was, he told me they were cilantro flowers.  Ah, the frilly stuff that grows from my cilantro when it goes to seed.  I never thought about using it, but at $1 I figured it'd be a cheap gamble.  The smell of them were so light and fresh, seemed like a perfect pairing for the strawberries.  And I'm a sucker for flowers on salads.  For this salad I used feta, but I'd imagine soft goat cheese/chevre would work as well, too.  I also added in some fresh spring onions and a vinaigrette for dressing.

Strawberry Spring Salad with Cilantro Flowers
  • red leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into small strips (chiffonaded)
  • spring green onions, washed, dried, chopped fine
  • strawberries, quartered lengthwise
  • cilantro flowers,  washed, dried, chopped fine keeping the flowers intact to sprinkle on top
  • feta cheese, crumbled
  • olive oil, first cold press
  • vinegar of your choice (I like fig infused white balsamic vinegar)
  • salt, pepper, seasonings (I love Penzey's French country vinaigrette seasoning)

Compose salad with the lettuce on bottom, followed by the green onions, then the crumbled cheese, the strawberries (make them look pretty), and the flurry of cilantro flowers.

In a cup, mix up a 1:1/oil:vinegar with seasonings and taste.  Lightly pour over the salad and enjoy.

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure

This is part of Food Network's Sensational Sides Feast. Check out The FN Dish.  This week we're focusing on something green.  On twitter, we're tagging #SensationalSides.  Here are other amazing green recipes to try out from our other friends:

The Lemon Bowl: Caribbean Salad with Bananas and Red Onions
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Power Berry Avocado Almond Chia Seed Salad
Weelicious: DIY Salad Buffet
Dishin & Dishes: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Two Dipping Sauces
Taste With The Eyes: Scallop, Micro Lettuce, Farro and Lemon Basil Sauce
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Salad Greens with Balsamic Mushrooms and Roasted Asparagus
Red or Green: Green Salad with Grilled Salmon, Avocado and Tortilla Chips
The Sensitive Epicure: Strawberry Spring Salad with Cilantro Flowers
Virtually Homemade: Thai Beef Salad
Domesticate Me: Vegetable Fajita Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette
FN Dish: Get Your Leafy Greens