Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Got Zucchini?

(Originally published in The News Review on August 4, 2015)

Recipe Links:  Lemon-Ginger Zucchini Bread, Blueberry-Walnut Zucchini Bread, Zucchini "Noodles", and Summer Squash Salad

Lemon-Ginger Zucchini Bread
I was sixteen when my parents decided to move from our suburban San Diego home to a 27-acre “hobby farm” in southern Oregon. My dad, retired from the Navy, was excited to finally have room for two cows, two pigs, a dog and a big garden. My mom, always glamorous and sophisticated, traded a successful career in real estate for the country life. We joked that it was a bit like the television show Green Acres, though my mother is much more competent than Eva Gabor's character. Mom set to work learning to make featherlight dinner rolls and canning strawberry jam. Dad got busy building a house and rototilling.

As I recall it, Dad put in two rows of zucchini. (You gardeners out there can see where this is heading.) Two rows produce a boatload of squash! A neighbor later suggested he take one zucchini seed, cut it in half before planting, and he'd still have a bountiful harvest. Needless to say, we ate a lot of zucchini bread and cheesy zucchini pie that year.

Zucchini is nutritious and inexpensive (or free from your friends who grew too much). It's adaptable to both sweet and savory preparations. Zucchini bread must be the original sneaky chef method for getting kids to eat their vegetables. It freezes well, so you can always have a loaf on hand for breakfast, tea or dessert. I've included two recipes I created for an OSU Extension/Master Food Preserver class a few years back. First, a lemon-ginger version, studded with pieces of candied ginger and flecked with lemon zest. If you like ginger, you'll love this. The second recipe incorporates two local superfoods: blueberries and walnuts. I have a freezer full of both and I'm always looking for new ways to use them.

Zucchini “noodles” may sound odd, but they're actually quite good. I have no problem with gluten or carbs and I love a good plate of pasta, but I'll happily eat my spaghetti sauce over these veggie noodles on occasion. They cook up in just a few minutes.

Whether grilling, stir-frying, or baking, about the only way to ruin zucchini is to overcook it. It can go from deliciously fork-tender to translucent and mushy in a matter of minutes. If family members turn up their noses at cooked zucchini, why not try it raw? Diced and tossed with a light, lemony dressing, a combination of zucchini and yellow summer squash makes a cool and refreshing salad.

I always thought, after a year in the country, I'd head back to California to go to college. But here I am, an Oregonian by choice, if not by birth. As I bake bread, pick berries, make jam and water my own small garden, I'm thankful for parents with a sense of adventure.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Lemon-Ginger Zucchini Bread

Lemon-Ginger Zucchini Bread
Makes two loaves

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup safflower or sunflower oil
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini (firmly packed)
the zest of 1 lemon
1 cup finely chopped candied ginger (available in the bulk bins)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 1/2 x 4-inch bread pans. (I prefer metal pans.) Stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla together with a mixer until creamy. Blend in the flour mixture just until well-combined and then fold in the zucchini and lemon zest by hand. Toss the candied ginger with a tablespoon of flour to coat well. (This keeps the pieces from sinking to the bottom of the loaves.) Fold ginger into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until golden brown on top and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove from pans and let cool completely.

When cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil and let stand overnight. This allows the oil and moisture to distribute evenly throughout the loaves.

Blueberry-Walnut Zucchini Bread

I combined the best of 6 different recipes to create an Umpqua Valley version using our wonderful local blueberries, walnuts, eggs and, of course, zucchini.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup safflower or canola oil
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini (firmly packed)
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour** two 8 x 4-inch bread pans. (I prefer metal pans.) Stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla together with a mixer until creamy. Blend in the flour mixture just until well-combined and then fold in the zucchini by hand. Combine the berries and nuts in a colander and toss with a tablespoon of flour to coat them well. This keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the loaves. Fold the berries and nuts into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until golden brown on top and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove from pans and let cool completely.

When cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil and let stand overnight. This allows the oil and moisture to distribute evenly throughout the loaves.

*toasting the nuts is optional, but does bring out more flavor. Place in a pie plate in a 350 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, just until their color deepens a bit and they begin to give off their fragrance. Let cool before adding to the batter.

**I like to use cinnamon sugar instead of flour to coat the greased pans. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar with 2 teaspoons cinnamon until thoroughly blended. Divide between the greased pans and rotate to coat the bottom and sides.

Summer Squash Salad

Summer Squash Salad

The deep green zucchini and bright yellow summer squash in this salad remind me of my alma mater. Go Ducks!

2 small (1-inch diameter) or 1 medium (2-inch diameter) zucchini
2 small or 1 medium yellow summer squash (I like the straight “Butterstick” variety, but yellow crookneck squash is fine, too.)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
(1 teaspoon lemon zest, if desired)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pecorino-Romano or Parmesan cheese for garnishing, if desired.

Wash the squash well. Cut off the ends, cut lengthwise into quarters, then slice crosswise into half-inch pieces. Place in a serving bowl.

Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, mustard and olive oil. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Just before serving, pour the dressing (you may not need all of it) over the squash and toss well to combine. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, shave Pecorino-Romano or Parmesan cheese over the top, if desired. Serve immediately.

Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini “Noodles”

A good use for those extra-large summer squash.

Wash zucchini, dry thoroughly and cut off the blossom end. Hold by the stem end at an angle on a cutting board. Using a vegetable peeler, cut wide strips down the entire length, working your way all around the squash. Continuing cutting “noodles” until you reach the seeds.

Sauté the squash strips in a small amount of olive oil or butter for 2-3 minutes, just until barely tender. Top with spaghetti sauce, marinara, a creamy Alfredo or any other sauce you would normally serve over egg noodles or fettuccine. Serve immediately.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Estill Farms Blueberries

My friend Janet and I went to check out a new blueberry farm this morning and between the two of us, we picked almost a hundred pounds in about two hours!!!

Estill Farms (aka Uncle Paula's Blueberries) is located west of Drain on Hwy 38. It's about a 40 mile drive from my house (37 miles from the UCC exit on I-5) so we wanted to make it worth our while. We started off picking their Draper variety. The bushes are small (perfect for kids!) but, oh, were they loaded with big, beautiful berries! Our recent heat wave has taken its toll and some of the berries are beginning to shrivel a little, but there were plenty of dark, sweet, firm berries.

Estill Farms provides picking buckets, but we had our own small buckets on belts (so we could pick with both hands) and empty them into their larger buckets. We quickly tired of bending over, but then we figured out it was easier to just hold our small buckets right under the clusters of berries and lightly run our fingers over them and the ripe berries would fall straight into the bucket. Fastest picking ever!

After we filled six large buckets plus our small ones with Drapers, we drove back to the pay station and decided to pick a few Libertys, which they had just opened for picking today. The Liberty berries have incredible flavor, a bit tarter than the Drapers and perfect for fresh eating. (I freeze most of our berries and we use them in smoothies, so it doesn't really matter what type I pick for that.) The Liberty bushes are tall, not much bending over, so we went back to the bucket-on-a-belt method.

We chatted with the owners while they weighed our berries and learned that this is only their second year doing u-pick. Paula Estill has been at the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market the past two weeks and that's how I found out about their farm. It's great to have another blueberry farm in the area, especially since their harvest seems to be a bit later than the others, extending the season for all of us u-pickers.

If you go:

The address is 6680 Hwy. 38. (541)-836-7612. 

U-pick berries are $1.25/lb.

Bring shallow containers to transfer your berries to after they are weighed and paid for.

There's a very clean port-a-potty and a handwashing station right near the first rows of berries.

If you're new to picking and need tips on storing blueberries, read this.

Blueberry season won't last much longer, so get 'em while you can.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Easy Kalua Pig and Crusty French Rolls

I added traditional southern sides to my "Kalua" pig.
Have you got a crowd to feed? I've got the dish for you! We recently had a mini family reunion of sorts. My brother and his wife, just home from a two-year mission to Tonga, drove up from California with their youngest daughter at the same time both of our girls were home for a visit. Add my parents, husband and son, and that made ten of us for a Father's Day feast.

I wanted a simple dish I could prepare ahead of time. Since we were honoring three fathers, I didn't want the men out grilling fish, tri-tip or hamburgers in the sweltering sun. I flipped through one of my church cookbooks and landed on Easy Kalua Pig, contributed by my friend, Kay Tano. Melt-in-your-mouth pork done in the slow cooker? Sounded like just the ticket to a fuss-free dinner.

Kalua, according to my friend Andy, who was raised on The Big Island, is the Hawaiian word for the method of cooking using an imu or underground oven. (Not to be confused with Kahlúa, which is a Mexican coffee liquor.) Kalua Pig is the traditional meat served at a luau.

I don't remember much about the food at the luaus I went to as a child during the two years we lived in Hawaii. I was probably too picky to try the traditional side dishes like lomi lomi salmon, poi or poke. I do, however, have a fondness for southern barbecue. While the cooking differs slightly from Kalua Pig, the flavor is quite similar.

Family reunions in South Carolina included a trip to the famous Sweatman's Bar-b-que in Holly Hill, an hour's drive from my mother's hometown of Charleston. Like Scarlett O'Hara and her unbridled enthusiasm to “eat barbeque,” we piled our Styrofoam plates high with smoky pulled pork, baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni & cheese and cups of banana pudding for dessert. The family that eats together, stays together!

For this family dinner, I decided to go the southern route and served my “Kalua” Pig sandwich-style on crusty French rolls. Barbecue sauce was available for those who wanted it, but this meat had plenty of flavor without dressing it up. The pork cooks for 15 to 20 hours on low. I started it Saturday night before bed and it was falling-apart tender when I served it, to rave reviews, Sunday afternoon. The rolls, too, can be mixed and shaped the night before.

Food brings us together. If the promise of a sumptuous meal gets people to the table, I'm eager to do my part in the kitchen. Easy Kalua Pig is a dish that feeds many mouths with minimal prep and lets you focus on family fun. 

Easy “Kalua” Pig

You can find nearly identical recipes for Kalua Pig all over the Internet. With only three ingredients, there's not much variation. I used my friend Kay's recipe from our church cookbook and added many preparation details of my own.

1 (6 lb.) pork butt roast
1 ½ tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon liquid smoke

A word about ingredients:

The pork butt I bought was bone-in and labeled “Pork Shoulder/Boston Butt.” The bone adds flavor while cooking and is easily pulled out when the meat gets tender.

Some recipes call for special Red Hawaiian sea salt. I used the sea salt I use for just about all my cooking, which is Redmond's Real Salt.

Liquid Smoke comes in several varieties: Mesquite, hickory, applewood, etc. I used hickory, but some recipes suggest that mesquite is closest to the kiawe wood traditionally used when cooking Kalua Pig in the ground.


Pierce the meat all over with something sharp, like a carving fork. I used a metal shish kebab skewer. An ice pick would work, also. Rub the salt all over the meat. Drizzle with liquid smoke and rub that in too. Place the roast in a slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 15 to 20 hours, turning once during the cooking period. Do not add any liquid! The roast will cook in its own juices and become falling-apart tender. I started my roast at 10:00 P.M. and served it at 5:00 P.M. the next day. It was perfect!

When ready to serve, remove the bone and transfer the meat to a cutting board using tongs or a slotted spoon. Shred the meat using two forks or chop it with a large knife. (I removed some of the fat from the meat before shredding, because I couldn't bear to mix it all in, but this is in no way a low-fat dish.) Add some of the juices from the slow cooker to moisten the shredded meat, if needed. Serve immediately.

Yield: I fed ten people and had enough meat leftover for another five or six servings. If you want to try a smaller amount, the butcher said you could use a few boneless pork ribs instead of a pork butt. Of course, you'll need to decrease the salt and liquid smoke proportionately.

Crusty French Rolls

I've adapted these rolls from Peter Reinhart's recipe for Classic French Bread in his book Artisan Breads Every Day. Kneading takes only a few minutes and is easily done by hand. Best of all, the rolls can be mixed, shaped and refrigerated overnight. The next day, just pop them into the oven for about 20 minutes and serve them warm. This recipe yields 40 oz of dough, which will make 13 (3 oz) rolls or 20 (2 oz) rolls. I used the larger rolls for sandwiches.

5 1/3 cups (24 oz) unbleached bread flour
2 teaspoons (0.5 oz) sea salt
2 ¼ teaspoons (0.25 oz or 1 pkg. instant yeast (Red Star Quick-Rise or bread machine yeast)
2 cups (16 oz) lukewarm water

Measure the flour, salt and yeast into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine and then add the water. Stir well with a large spoon for about 1 minute, until it forms a shaggy dough. Let it rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead gently by hand for about 3 minutes, adding as little flour as possible, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, but is still just a bit tacky. If you touch it with a dry finger, it should cling ever so slightly, but not stick.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 90 minutes. Turn out onto a floured board and divide into 2 or 3 oz pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a ball by placing it in the palm of one hand and using the fingers of your other hand to bring the edges to the center and pinch them together tightly, creating a smooth top. Place the rolls a few inches apart on a parchment-lined baking pan. Spray lightly with oil, cover the pan well with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (The oven bags made for roasting a turkey in fit well over a standard 18 x 13 half sheet pan. You won't be able to use a twist-tie, but you can tape the end to the underside of the pan.)

The next day, remove the pan from the refrigerator 1 hour before you plan to bake. If you have a baking stone, place it on the center rack of the oven. Place a steam pan (see note below) on the bottom rack. Preheat the oven to it's highest setting for at least 45 minutes.

About 10 minutes before baking, uncover the rolls to let the surface of the dough dry slightly. Just before putting the pan in the oven, slash the tops of the rolls about 1/2-inch deep with a serrated knife or snip the tops with kitchen shears. Have a cup of hot water ready and waiting. Place the pan on the baking stone or center rack. Cover the oven window with a dry dish towel (to prevent splashes that could crack it), carefully (use oven mitts) pour the hot water into the steam pan on the bottom rack, quickly remove the towel and shut the door. Reduce the heat to 450 degrees.

Bake the rolls for 12 minutes. Carefully remove the hot steam pan and rotate the pan of rolls for even baking. Bake an additional 8 to 10 minutes, until a deep, golden color. (If you remove the rolls too soon, the crust will soften as they cool. If you have a thermometer, you want an internal temperature of at least 200 degrees.) Cool slightly on a wire rack and serve warm with butter or sliced in half for sandwiches.

A word about baking stones and steam:

A baking stone is not necessary for baking these rolls, but it does conduct heat more quickly through the dough, helping the rolls rise higher in the oven. If you bake much at all, a stone is a good investment. My stone “lives” in one of my ovens. I bake hearth loaves, baguettes and pizzas directly on the hot stone, but I also bake pies, tarts and rectangular sandwich loaves in their pans, on top of the stone. You must preheat a baking stone on the oven rack for 45 minutes before using to give it time to absorb heat.

Steaming the oven during the first half of baking is essential to produce a great crust on these rolls. The method I use is to place a heavy-duty pan on the bottom rack of the oven, below and to the side of the baking stone (or where you will place the pan of rolls). A cast iron pan or small, shallow baking pan will work (though it may warp). The pan will be preheated to the oven's highest temperature along with the stone. Hot water added at the beginning of the bake will produce the blast of steam needed for hard, crusty rolls. Alternatively, you can spritz the oven with water from a clean spray bottle several times during the first 5 minutes of baking, but you lose oven heat each time you open the door.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Blueberries are ready!


This must be the earliest season ever for blueberries. So early that I missed opening day at Haven Farm in Tyee. I made a note to check their website on Friday (6/12) as they opened on 6/18 last year, but I didn't get around to looking until today. They opened yesterday!!! I couldn't have gone even if I had known, but they say there are still plenty of berries to pick and more varieties coming on soon. 

I dug the newspaper out of the recycling bin to see if Big Bend Berries is open and, yes, they are. The nice thing about Big Bend, aside from the fact that they are much closer and the owners are so nice, is that you can pick in the evening on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's a great family activity. The price, $1.20/lb. is the same at both places. Brosi's in Winston grows blueberries, too, but I have never picked there.

Big Bend Berries
458 Big Bend Rd., Roseburg (Garden Valley)
U-pick only (bring buckets and containers)
M W F Sat 8:00 am to noon
T TH 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm

10246 Tyee Rd., Umpqua (15 miles west of Sutherlin)
Bring containers; they supply picking buckets
Open M - Sat. 8:00 am to 2:00 pm

Additional information for first-time pickers: 

If you've never picked your own fruit before, blueberries are a great place to start. No bending, no thorns, no ladders! I use the bucket-on-a-belt method for the fastest picking. Just thread an old belt through the handle of a small, sturdy bucket and fasten around your waist or over one shoulder. That way you have both hands free to pick. I like the 10 lb. detergent buckets with the metal handle. (Note: Haven Farm supplies their own picking buckets, but you should still bring a belt.) The small, plastic ice cream tubs are fine for children (who rarely get them full), but I have had the plastic handle break and then had to re-pick all of my berries out of the grass! I take along plastic dishpans to empty the berries into when the bucket gets full.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Going Green

(Originally published in The News Review on June 2, 2015.)

Asian greens from Norm Lehne Garden and Orchard

U-pick season got off to an early start this year with local strawberries ripe and ready in mid-May, the earliest ever according to Kruse Farms. I'm busy cleaning out my freezer to make room for this year's crops. I bought myself a new copy of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving and stashed my ratty sneakers, buckets and bins in the car so I'm ready to pick at a moment's notice. Do I sound excited?

Picking perfectly ripe, sweet, juicy berries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, pears and apples is my all-time, number one favorite summer activity. Whether I'm alone in the orchard or chatting with friends or family the next row over, I feel right at home at any of our local u-pick farms.

Along with fresh berries, which are so abundant right now, I'm trying to work more leafy greens into our diet. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal summarized the results of a new study that looked at nutrition and the brain. The MIND Diet (which stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) was developed by researchers at Rush University. In the study, strict adherence to the MIND diet, which emphasizes green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine, lowered the risk of Alzheimer's disease by as much as 53 percent. Quoting from the article, “Participants who ate one to two servings of green vegetables a day had a 'dramatic decrease in the rate of cognitive decline' compared with people who ate fewer greens, said Dr. Morris. 'It was about the equivalent of being 11 years younger in age,' she said. (Wall Street Journal April 20, 2015) That's music to my baby boomer ears!

So, how to get more leafy greens into our diet? Here are some suggestions for every meal of the day. Green smoothies for breakfast or post-workout are easy and delicious. Blend up a handful of kale or spinach with frozen fruit, pineapple juice and a banana and I promise you won't even taste the veggies.

A green salad, with a mix of spinach,arugula, a variety of lettuces, maybe some baby kale or cabbage thrown in, drizzled with an olive oil vinaigrette, makes a nutrition-packed side dish. Top with berries, nuts and grilled chicken or fish and you have a one-dish wonder for lunch or dinner that includes five of the ten recommended foods to nourish your brain. I never would have believed how much I'd enjoy a Massaged Kale and Mango Salad until I tried it, but I honestly could have eaten the whole batch myself. It's that good!

Kale chips are a delicately crunchy and very portable snack. You'll find three varieties made locally by NewLeaf Delivery at the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market or at Umpqua Local Goods in Roseburg.

Cooked greens are going to be a harder sell at my house, but I'm determined to put my culinary creativity to the test. Big Lick Farm and Norm Lehne's Garden and Orchard both sell a dizzying array of leafy greens to experiment with. I've been adding beet greens to stir fries and chopped kale to soups. I've been sautéing Asian greens like Tat Soi in olive oil and garlic. My daughter, Christine, insists that greens cooked in bacon grease are the way to go, but,eaten too often, that might negate the health benefits.

Do you have a tasty way to serve cooked greens? Send me your recipe ( and I'll give it a try.

Massaged Kale and Mango Salad

You won't believe how good this is!

Massaged Kale and Mango Salad

My friend, Janet Catalano, has been making this salad for years. It's adapted from a recipe Nigella Lawson shared on The Food Network. Janet doubles the fruit and adds a touch more honey. Toasting the pumpkin seeds is optional, but I like the extra crunch it gives them.

1 bunch kale, any type will do but try dark, curly kale if you can find it
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice from ½ a large lemon
2 pinches of sea salt
1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)
a few grinds of pepper
1 whole mango, diced*
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, raw or toasted

If desired, toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Rinse the kale and shake off extra water. Tear the leaves from the tough stems. (Discard the stems.) Stack the leaves on top of each other and slice into half-inch ribbons. Place the kale ribbons in a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. With your hands, massage the oil into the kale for at least 2 minutes. The kale will shrink down considerably and become tender, dark and glossy. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Pour over the kale and stir well to combine, then add the diced mango. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual salad plates and top with pumpkin seeds.

Serves 3-4

*The easiest way to dice a mango is to slice the “cheeks” off each side of the pit before peeling. The pit is about ¾ inch wide. Score the flesh of the cheeks in parallel lines both lengthwise and then crosswise, being careful not to cut through the skin. Turn the scored mango cheeks inside out by pressing in the center of the skin side. Using a sharp knife, slice the squares of mango off the skin. Peel the skin from the portion containing the pit, score around the pit and slice off as much flesh as possible.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Mixed Greens with Strawberries, Goat Cheese and Roasted Hazelnuts


Mixed Greens with Strawberries, Goat Cheese and Roasted Hazelnuts

I had a salad with strawberries and feta at a local restaurant and decided to create my own version at home. I didn't have any candied nuts on hand, so I added a little maple syrup to my vinaigrette to mimic that sweet flavor. This salad can easily be turned into a main dish by topping it with grilled chicken or salmon.

6 cups mixed greens, including spinach and arugula
1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
1 (3.5 ounce) container goat cheese or feta crumbles
¼ cup hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped*
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Wash and dry the greens, tear into bite-size pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, syrup, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over the greens and toss gently to combine. Add the sliced strawberries and cheese; toss again briefly. Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top.

Serves 4.

*Roast hazelnuts in a shallow, rimmed baking sheet at 250 degrees for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. When cut in half, the center of the nuts should be a toasty brown.