Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Foodie Penpal Reveal...Featuring Sami's Strawberry Salad

It’s time for another fun Foodie Penpal reveal! This month, I received a box of goodies from sweet Sami. Sami lives in upstate New York, and she picked up some fun stuff for me during a recent family trip to Canada. My package contained some sweet maple candy, two mini jars of delicious Greaves fruit jams, a jar of Italian salsa, and an ADORABLE pink monogrammed straw-cup that was hand-decorated by one of her daughters! Sami also took time to write me a very sweet letter telling her trip to Canada and some background info on all the items she sent. I took the cheerful glass to use at my office, and it really brightens my day! The candies taste just like maple syrup, which is definitely a good thing in my book. We haven’t opened the salsa yet, but I’m saving it for the next time we have company...I’m curious to see how it differs from the Tex-Mex salsa that we have here in Texas. I might make a batch of fried raviolis to serve with this salsa...seems like a match made in heaven. 

Knowing that I like to feature a recipe using at least one of the products that I receive each month, Sami included a recipe for her favorite salad...which just so happens to have strawberry jam in the homemade vinaigrette! I earmarked some of the strawberry-rhubarb jam she sent to make her salad, and I’m going to share it with y’all today. The only minor tweaks that I made to Sami’s recipe were to use sheep milk feta in place of goat cheese...the flavor and texture is quite similar to goat cheese, so I thought it would work just fine. I also used candied pecans instead of walnuts. This salad is super-quick to whip up, and it pairs perfectly with grilled chicken or fish on a warm summer night!

Sami's Strawberry Salad
adapted from Foodie Pen Pal Sami

Step 1: Make the vinaigrette by adding the following ingredients to a bowl or small measuring cup: 1 tbs. strawberry jam, 1.5 tbs. balsamic vinegar, 3-4 tbs. olive oil, and salt & pepper to taste. Whisk well to combine.

Step 2: Add 4 cups mixed field greens to a bowl, add dressing, and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the greens on a chilled platter and top with the following ingredients: 4-5 chopped strawberries, 1/3 cup chopped candied nuts (I used pecans), and 1/3 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese.

This salad was so refreshing on a hot Texas evening! I make a similar salad that I've featured in here before. The homemade vinaigrette that Sami includes is the difference: it's sweet and tangy, and the fruity olive oil works so nicely when combined with the other ingredients. You could easily make this a main dish salad by adding some diced chicken breast. 

How would you like to join the Foodie Penpal fun? All you have to do is visit Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean to sign up! You'll be paired with a fellow food lover to send a package to...and you'll received a food package in return from another participant. It's like Christmas morning every month when your package arrives...trust me!


  1. Looks amazing! You did a GREAT job of re-creating it! :) Its definitely one of my FAVORITE salads to make during the summer.

  2. Quick and easy vinaigrette--I'm looking forward to making this soon! (What a fun idea, the foodie pen pal. I participated in one around Christmastime through Austin Food Blogger Alliance, and it was a neat experience. It would be great to join up with one when it isn't Christmas, with all of it's expenses and busyness! Thanks for the link!

  3. I love that she shared a recipe with you!
    So great!

  4. Such thoughtful and sweet gifts, Wendy! Love the colorful, fresh, and yummy salad! So nice that Sami shared this recipe with you, and you passed it on to us!
    Thanks for sharing:D

  5. what a great dressing to go with your fave salad!


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