Sunday, June 28, 2009

Strawberry pesto vinaigrette

I found a group of ripe wild strawberries in a field this afternoon. These dainty little red orbs tasted great but still needed a day or two more to increase in their sweetness. Wild strawberries are for sure one of my favourite free foods! I am told by a friend that sells wild foods for a living that wild strawberries are being sold wholesale into the Toronto market for $15 a pound! Need a summer job?

You only need a small amount of wild strawberries for this recipe so plan to get out and pick shortly. Failing that buy some local strawberries from one of our farmers. They should be ready sometime the first week of July.

This pretty and delicious vinaigrette is one of our favorites on green salads. I also like it as a marinade for white beans, garden vegetables, chicken/turkey and mild white fish like Pickerel. My daughter Jasper uses it as a dipping sauce for good bread and I have also seen her spoon it onto good cheese and crackers! It has no additives or preservatives and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two months without going bad. It also doesn't have emulsifiers which keep commercial salad dressings mixed - but a quick shake puts it back together for use.

Makes approximately 500 ml/2 cups

1/2 cup red wine vinegar - 125 ml
1/2 cup water - 125 ml
1/2 cup olive oil, extra virgin, cold pressed - 125 ml
1/2 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen - preferably wild) - 125 ml
2 Tbsp - basil, fresh, chopped (your favourite.... use Genovese, Thai, purple, spicy globe or a combination)
1/4 cup honey - 60 ml
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground - 2.5 ml
2 cloves fresh garlic

Blend ingredients together using food processor or stick blender.
Store any leftover vinaigrette in the fridge.

Note: Optional additions include pine nuts and a good hard grating cheese like Parve, Parmesan or Romano

NUTRITION FACTS (per 30 ml serving/2Tbsp): 80 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 4 g sugar.

© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc
Our next cooking class coming up at Chapman's Landing is "Indian Vegetarian" on Saturday July 11th. We will be doing more Indian cooking on July 19th in the ever popular "Tikka and Tandoori" class. Please see my menu and register online at

The photo of the vinaigrette comes with compliments of Yan Robertson at the Piebird B and B down the street at 113 Chapman's Landing Rd. in Nipissing

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