The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, when Gaylord Nelson, a US senator from Wisconsin, orchestrated a nationwide “teach-in” about the environment. Now, more than 40 years later, Earth Day is still popular, and “green” is everywhere.
In the spirit of being kind to the earth (and to our bodies), I created a simple salad made with all organic ingredients. Organic produce can be expensive. If you want to shop selectively, you can choose organic options for those fruits and vegetables that commonly retain more pesticides when grown conventionally. Lettuce, berries, and cucumbers all fall into that category, and thus, into my salad.
4 tablespoons organic chopped hazelnuts
4 ounces organic arugula
1 medium organic cucumber
10 ounces organic strawberries (retain 4 ounces, or 3 to 4 large berries, for dressing)
⅓ cup organic balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons organic vegetable oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
To toast hazelnuts, preheat oven to 350º. Arrange nuts on baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown. When cooled, rub nuts gently with clean towel to remove skins.
Wash and trim arugula. Arrange evenly on 4 small salad plates. Divide toasted nuts into 4 equal portions and sprinkle evenly on each salad. Wash and thinly slice cucumber, leaving skin on. Arrange cucumber slices on top of each salad. Wash, trim, and slice strawberries. Artfully arrange on top of each salad.
In blender, combine retained berries, balsamic vinegar, vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and drizzle lightly on salads.
Makes 4 servings.