It’s spring. Finally! I did think it might not arrive. And with spring comes fiddleheads, ramps, asparagus, and strawberries. I was in the local supermarket and they had a sample of a goat cheese salad with roasted strawberries. It was good, but the strawberries were, shall we say, lacking…it’s a texture thing. But I liked the idea of roasted strawberries, so I decided to make a vinaigrette with them. This is a rather simple recipe and perfect if you have some strawberries that aren’t perfect. You may skewer the berries and grill them, but I decided to pop them into the oven. It worked very well. I tossed the berries with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt, then into the preheated 450°F…very important that the oven is preheated. Or pop the pan under the broiler. I roasted them for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan once to move the strawberries about. Pull the pan from the oven when the strawberries were just barely beginning to give up a bit of juice, and dump them into the blender (or food processor). I deglazed the pan with 1/4 cup lemonade.
Squeezed the juice from a couple of small lemons, a large pinch of kosher salt, finely minced red onion and some lemon balm, and a few mint leaves thrown in, just for good measure. Whirl the whole mess up, with some good olive oil. Pour it into a jar, pop the lid on and into the fridge. Now, I was given a bottle of olive oil with lemon for my birthday. It’s beautiful stuff, so I used that, for half of the olive oil. This is going to get drizzled over some greens with scallions, sliced fresh strawberries, toasted pecans and bleu (or goat) cheese. And that’s all she wrote.
Roasted Strawberry-Lemon Vinaigrette
- 4 ounces strawberries
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup lemonade
- Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 tablespoons finely minced red onion
- 1-2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemon balm (see NOTE)
- 3-5 leaves of orange mint, chopped
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil (I used part lemon olive oil)
- Kosher salt (I used to large pinches)
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Clean the strawberries, by removing the stem. Leave them whole. Place in a skillet; toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and pinch of kosher salt. Place in the preheated oven. Roast for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan half-way through. The strawberries shouldn’t be soft and squishy, but just be a stage when there are few drops of juice coming from them and you can hear them sizzle.
Dump the strawberries into a blender container; deglaze the skillet with the lemonade. Pour the lemonade into the blender container. Add the lemon juice, red onion and fresh herbs. Whirl it up until smooth. Add the oil and kosher salt; whirl again. Pour into a jar with a tight-fitting lid; chill for at least 1 hour. Excellent drizzled over a salad or greens with goats cheese (or feta) and toasted pecans. Also deliciously refreshing drizzled over grilled shrimp.
NOTE: I prefer to use lemon balm or mint, but you can absolutely use fresh basil instead. It will tend to be a more forward flavor and you will taste the strawberries less.
Roasted Strawberry-Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019. All rights reserved.