Strawberry Salad

Strawberry Salad
-courtesy Farmers' Table at Southbrook

Chef Shawn Murphy says, “Get the strawberries the day you want to make the salad from your local farmer and do not place them in the fridge. Just like tomatoes, they are best left out and eaten at their peak. Double the amount of strawberries needed for the salad at serving time as you will eat at least half if you have selected correctly.” Large Ontario strawberries are typically California varieties and usually do not pack nearly as much flavour as the smaller types. Also watch the amount of rain. As most fruit, too much rain leaves a weak tasting and short lived fruit.

1 pint strawberries (the smaller the better)
Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper
Aged sharp local cheese, 12 months or older, suggest Gunn's Hill Handeck
Fresh mesclun lettuce, fresh young arugula gives a beautiful sweet spice
Petit Verdot Vinegar Reduction (recipe below)

Cut strawberries in half as close to serving time as possible and toss with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Toss mesclun with oil, salt and pepper. Thinly shave the aged cheese of your preference.

To plate
Place the strawberries on the bottom sporadically around the plate and place the cheese and lettuce in between. Drizzle the glaze on top of the strawberries and serve. Pairs well with rosé or chilled gamay noir. 

Petit Verdot Vinegar Reduction
Reduce a dark wine vinegar combined with sugar in a 4:1 ratio until it coats the back of the spoon. Make sure to ladle off any foam at the top so it is clear and glossy. Cool to room temperature.