Strawberries add a taste of summer to your salads

Strawberry cucumber salad made by Molly Gingell is prepared with fresh mint, raspberry vinegar, powdered sugar, strawberries and cucumbers.

Strawberry cucumber salad made by Molly Gingell is prepared with fresh mint, raspberry vinegar, powdered sugar, strawberries and cucumbers.

by Molly Gingell

Happy July, Carson City.

The farmers market is back! I was finally able to go to the market last week for the first time. I love it when I have enough time to go shop at the market, as opposed to having someone else go for me. It's so enjoyable to see all of the vendors with their fresh goods. I can't wait for the heirloom tomatoes ... I digress.

Last week, I purchased fresh strawberries at the market. They were so incredibly sweet. I am going to dedicate this column to the farmers markets' fresh strawberries. I have two recipes for wonderful summer salads to share with you. I hope you enjoy them.

Strawberry Cucumber Salad

2 T. chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon powdered sugar

2 T. raspberry vinegar

4 T. olive oil

1Ú2 English cucumber, thinly sliced

8 ounces ripe strawberries

Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine mint and powdered sugar. Using a wooden spoon, pound mint to draw out flavoring oils. Add vinegar and olive oil and whisk to blend. Add cucumber and marinate for up to 2 hours. Just before serving, slice strawberries. Arrange on individual serving plates and season with pepper to taste. Add cucumber slices and spoon remaining dressing over each salad. Serves 4.

Strawberry Salad With Cinnamon Vinaigrette

1Ú3 cup olive oil

1Ú3 cup raspberry or currant vinegar

3 T. sugar

1Ú2 teaspoon Tabasco

1Ú2 teaspoon salt

1Ú4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1Ú2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges

1 pint strawberries, stemmed and quartered

1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1Ú2 cup coarsely chopped pecans toasted

1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and sliced

In a jar or cruet, combine olive oil, vinegar, sugar, Tabasco, salt, pepper and cinnamon.

Shake well and chill at least 2 hours. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, oranges, strawberries, red onion, pecans and avocado. Add half of the chilled dressing and toss to coat. Pass remaining dressing. Serves 6-8.

These are both really great salads for the fresh-strawberry season. However, if you want the best-tasting salads possible, shop at the farmers market for your produce and fresh herbs. The difference is amazing - take advantage of their beautiful products.

I would also like to thank all of my customers and Carson City residents who supported Molly's at the Taste of Downtown. It is a great cause, and Molly's goes all out for it. We appreciate your support.

Molly Gingell is the owner of Molly's Gourmet Catering, takeout and cooking school at 220 W. John St. in Carson City.


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