Sunday, June 29, 2014

Melon Berry Salad -- A Fun and Tasty Salad to Serve Up on a Hot Summer Day + Good Cook 3-Piece Fruit Bowl #freshfuitbowl #BBBProduct

Disclosure:  I was sent a product sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.






It is not summer until we do our strawberry picking for the season.  And, this year, I wasn't sure if we would find a farm that had strawberry picking.  Due to the cold spring, many farmers saw their strawberry plants get hit hard -- either not growing or producing ripe berries.  But, after calling around to over a dozen farms, we finally found a farm in RI, about a half hour from us that had ripe strawberries ready to be picked. Yum!  I am getting hungry just thinking about them.

Last weekend, we gathered the girls up and surprised them by taking them strawberry picking.   I knew not to tell them where we were going, as I made this mistake earlier in the week and disappointed them when we arrived at a farm only to be told that there were no more strawberries.  While I stopped at the local grocery store to pick up a few containers, it was not the same as freshly picked strawberries.  

After spending close to an hour picking, we were able to fill an entire box full of strawberries to bring home and enjoy.  Do you have a favorite recipe you like to make when strawberries are in season.  For me, I like to find recipes that I can add strawberries to, that will give it a fun summer color and add a sweet twist to it.  I also like to make family favorites like homemade strawberry lemonade, strawberry banana ice-cream and even strawberry icebox cake and parfait cups (my girls' personal favorites).  You can't live off of sweets alone, so I have been busy in the kitchen thinking up fun new recipes to use these freshly picked strawberries in, and I think I found a winner.  Well, my family LOVED it, and it was super easy to make, and worked great for the recent hot summer days we have had here in New England, where you don't want to be indoors cooking for long.

Before I share my Melon Berry Salad recipe with you, I wanted to introduce you to a new 3-piece Good Cook fruit bowl available exclusively at Bed Bath and Beyond, that came in handy for this recipe, not only to store the freshly washed and cut up strawberries, but also to toss and serve up the salad in.


The Good Cook 3-piece Bowl keeps watermelon and cut fruit fresher longer.


*This product is exclusively available at Bed Bath and Beyond.


This is one kitchen item that is a must for berry lovers.  I can see this bowl coming in handy for making jams, or to keep watermelon from getting soggy.  And, you can even use the bowl separate like I did to serve up food in or mix with.  So many great uses for the fruit bowl -- now, all you need is fruit to put in it! :-)


And, here is my recipe, in case you are looking for colorful and oh-so tasty summer salad to serve the family and bring to your next cookout.  I can't wait to hear what you think of it, or how you add your own spin to the recipe. :-)



Melon Berry Salad



Ingredients:

1 qt. fresh strawberries, sliced
1 bag of mescalin salad or spinach
1 cup seedless green or red grapes. cut in half
1 cup of honeydew melon, cut into chunks or balls
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of cracked black pepper
6-7 fresh basil leaves, thinly slick
Container of small mozzarella balls, kept whole

Salad Dressing:

3-4 tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine the above ingredients in a small and then whisk together.  Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

Optional Homemade croutons:

Day out french or Italian bread, cut into cubes
drizzle with olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

Cut up the bread into cubes and drizzle with olive oil.  Then, add a pinch of salt and pepper before placing in a pre-heated oven at 325 degrees.  Bake for about  5-8 minutes, or until croutons are crunchy and lightly browned.

Optional Salad Add-ins/Substitutions:

1 small can pineapple chunks, drained
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
you can add in or replace mint leaves (thinly sliced) with the basil leaves

In place of mozzarella balls, you can also add crumbled feta or goat cheese.

What I love about salads is that you can add whatever you have handy to add color and flavor to the dish.  If you are not a fan of strawberries of honeydew melon, you can replace these fruit with pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, or even peaches.  Also, mint leaves can replace or be added to the basil leaves, and you could add crumbled feta or goat cheese in place of the mozzarella balls.  Get creative and think of fun add-ins to make this summer salad your own.  :-)

Directions:

Mix all salad ingredients together, and toss with homemade dressing.  Enjoy!

See, I said this would be an easy recipe to whip together. :-)  

Check out some of the other great berry inspired recipes my fellow Good Cook blogger friends have come up with...


An InLinkz Link-up


Disclosure:  I was sent a product sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

2 comments :

  1. This looks so delicious for a summer picnic. I love the simple directions and the dressing sounds super good. Hope you have a great 4th of July.
    heather hgtempaddy@hotmail.com

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