Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spring to Life & Strawberry-Spinach Salad (with Honey Vinaigrette)

Warm, sunny days are observed as something of a holiday here in New England. The ground swells, trees burst, life is blooming; The sky is a symphony of song, the air thick with redolence.
The ostensible death of winter pulses beneath the surface of April breathing life into spring--once again. May, June, Rejoice! Breathing life into me…

Yesterday, while walking to the fruit and vegetable store near my house, I was struck by the beauty around me. I don’t mean that in the abstract, poetic sense. I mean, in the most real and basic way, it always strikes me amazing that the nature of anything born or grown is to go on living until that is the last thing to be done. I’ve always found it ironic that, our very first and our very last instinct are the same, to breathe.

After falling into a deep depression some years back--what my doctor described as “P.T.S.D. induced,” The hardest thing I’ve ever done, was having to learn to match my will with my instinct to go on living.
During this battle I came across a passage from “Hamlet” which reads:

‘There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’t is not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all. Since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is ’t to leave betimes? Let be.’

“…The readiness is all.” It was that line in particular, which read more like a question than a statement, that prompted me to answer “Undoubtedly Yes!” And do for my droning on existence what my instincts had been doing for me…Tap into the pulse beneath the surface of my April and breathe spring into life until that is the last thing to be done.


I fear it will not hold as much significance if I keep saying so, but this was absolutely delicious, Both the salad and dressing; So much so that I had it for dinner last night and breakfast this morning.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Bunch of baby spinach, washed and dried
Small handful of strawberries, rinsed, dried and diced
2 teaspoons red onion or shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon walnuts or blanched, slivered almonds, lightly pan toasted (about 1 minute)
1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese (optional)


Combine spinach, strawberries, onion, nuts and cheese in a large bowl. Eat immediately or refrigerate for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Honey-Vinaigrette Dressing


½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup red wine or distilled white vinegar (I used the latter)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon red onion or shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 fresh ground black pepper


In medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey and mustard. While continuing to whisk gently, add in oil slowly. Add in onion, whisk again. Repeat after adding salt and pepper. Whisk again gently just before serving over salad.



  1. You know I quite understand the feeling that comes to new england with warm blooming days ...I am from cambridge, Mass :) and on such a day this strawberry/ salad will be just the best thing to happen :)

  2. Hey There! I've been wondering about you and meaning to...(check your blog)

    This was sooooo good! I've had it twice, for dinner last night AND for breakfast and I want it again for dinner tonight. =)p

  3. Love this refreshing salad! Will be making it soon.

  4. I will have it for dnner too...we boston people like the same things :)

    On a different note...Thank you so much for the wonderful comment. I hope to be with you too..on your 100's that I am sure will come along :)

  5. Dear Ree - I have only just fallen in love with strawberries in my salad so yours has me drooling.

    Although your frosted cake might win if there was a contest! I mean how healthy do I have to be? :)

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  6. I love making strawberry salads! Just bought 4 lbs of strawberries today, so they will be featured in everything this wk!

  7. Oh that salad does look perfect for spring!

  8. I agree - the basic nature and beauty to a NE spring just breathtaking.

  9. Fruit in salads is new to to try this

  10. JW: Not a problem. We Boston people not only like the same things, but we also stick together. See you in 66 posts'. Well, hopefully before then, but we'll be celebrating in 64 posts'. ;-)

    Devaki: Hello, nice to see you here. Strawberries in my salad are new for me also. I LOVE salad. I could eat it twice a day. I would venture to say this salad is one of my favorites. It was so good!

    Travel Eat Love: Hey There. Well I can't wait to get over to your blog and see what you've been creating using your 4lbs. of strawberries. That sounds awesome! They're so versatile. I'm also growing strawberries. =)

    Simply Life: I agree totally. This is a perfect spring salad. Refreshing, light, sweet, yummy! Just like spring. =)

    Daisy: The beauty of everything in bloom never ceases to take my breath away. May is gorgeous!

    Momgateway: Hello. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I've had dried pineapple and orange in my salad, but never strawberries. They were so delicious! Who knew?! This is something I'd definitely recommend. Please let me know what you think when you do try it. =)

  11. I'm a huge fan of fruit in salads...
    I love to use oranges in salad.

  12. What a delightful salad! I love the addition of strawberries and walnuts!

  13. love strawberries..This salad looks yummy!!nice clicks:)

  14. What a great quote and such a lovely post. I am glad you were able to deal with your depression better. I have a friend who is suffering from it and I find it very difficult to help her sometimes. This salad looks very tasty and healthy too. I love your tiny whisk. I need to get one of those!

  15. Hi msmeanie,

    Thank you so much. I understand completely. Though I've battled severe depression a little over half of my life now, I too, know how difficult it is to watch someone, someone you care about in particular, be so swallowed up by the disease they can't see a life for themselves beyond it.
    I think I'm in the minority, having made it back from the brink I was on for as long as I was on it, with all my faculties and clarity and feeling totally exhilarated to be alive. No matter how bad things got, and they got about as bad as things could get, I never, ever lost hope. That was the key.
    Alas, I've had to part ways with a few friends whose grasp, and almost addictive-like relationship with their disease, had permeated them so deeply, simply being around them affected my own sense of well being.
    From the bottom of my heart, I wish your friend the hope she'll need to battle her way to wellness. It's not only possible, it's doable. And as someone who lost everyone my disease was just too strong against, I want to thank you for being such a good friend to yours. It takes a really special sort to hang in there. That you are!

    "To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is, "he said," you must begin by knowing you have already arrived..."--Richard Bach 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull'

    I love that little whisk, so perfect for dressing and vinaigrette. =)


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