Somehow I still can’t really get used to the spring weather in Berlin, sunny and relatively warm one day then gloomy and cold the next. The rain shower comes in between sunny spells has become an usual scene on a daily basis. I was shivering standing in our local playground yesterday while my daughter was practicing cycling on her bike, even though I had my waxed jacket and scarf on. I really can’t wait for the summer to come, my favorite time of the year, and Berlin Summer is beautiful.
Today is one of those days again, overcast and quite chilly. I feel like adding some colours to my day, to feel alive and motivated. Nothing better than having a colourful, healthy and luscious meal that would lift your spirit up a bit on a grey, bleak day. This strawberry and cucumber salad is just the ticket – the sweetness of the strawberry pairs very well with the salty feta, the crunchiness of the cucumber and hazelnut give the whole dish a great texture. On top of that, this salad is so easy to make, it is one of my all time favorite spring/summer salads. It makes a simple refreshing lunch, a great side salad for BBQ and a perfect potluck dish for picnic.
I wrote this recipe about 2 years ago for Kleinstyle and I have been making it every summer ever since. I know strawberry is not quite in season yet, but I did manage to find some from the local region. But I promise you this recipe is a keeper so If you can get your hands on some local grown strawberries, make this salad right now, you will not regret it.
Note for the recipe: please don’t get too hung up on the quantities of the ingredients, the beauty of this salad is you can adjust the amount of fruit and vegetable accordingly.
If you would like to prepare the salad for a picnic, keep the dressing separately in a glass jam jar, assemble the salad just before serving, it will taste as fresh and crunchy as it would at home. To make a more substantial meal, add cooked lentils and avocado to the salad.
For the salad:
- 4 large handfuls of strawberry; rinse and pat dry, hulled and sliced
- ½ cucumber, washed and thinly sliced
- Feta cheese
- Small bunch of mint leaves, chopped (reserve a few small leaves for garnishing)
- Handful of roasted hazelnuts, skinned and finely chopped
For the dressing:
- Juice of one lemon
- Olive oil (2 times of the amount of lemon juice)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the dressing in a mason jar, cover and shake well.
Combine all the salad ingredients (apart from the feta cheese) in a large mixing bowl, drizzle in the dressing just enough to coat all the ingredients, do not over mix otherwise the berries will become mushy! Divide the salad into 4 plates and crumble the feta cheese on top. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with the reserved mint leaves.