Recipe Pickled Strawberry and Roasted Beet Salad

I mean seriously. This salad is sweet. Seriously sweet.

But, really, how sweet is this girl?

How much can we possibly love our little babes, especially in those unscripted moments of pure, sweet bliss, savoring the moment and creating our earliest memories of where food comes from.

This summer has been an amazing transition for our family. I’m home more than I’m away, our Smudge has been spreading her wings, spending 2 weeks with her grandparents and cousins and then a week-long stint at overnight Girl Scout Camp rounding out 3 weeks of away from mom and dad.

And at the end of the month my husband will be revisiting his glory days, culminating in areunion gig with his we-were-so-almost-famous punk rock band, Avon Calling. Yeah, it’s a pretty bitchin’ name, right?

We’re all blossoming and growing and building on our past experiences to create new memories that will live on forever.

We’re coming into our own and growing whether we want to or not. Can my Smudge just stop getting older please?

Again this year we’ve cultivated our growing garden—thanks to my dad’s crazy weeding obsession—but this is the first year Smudge had an opinion on what was actually planted. I plotted out my favorite tomatoes—Sweet 100s and little red cherries alongside heirlooms and canning ready Romas—the standard zuchhinni (yes, if you need any, I have a crisper full) and my in-demand herb factory.

But Smudge had a request. Just one. Not a big deal. She wanted strawberries. And so, strawberries it was.

Summer screams strawberries, a fruit that’s easily adapted to become savory or sweet additions to any favorite recipe. And once my small stream of a harvest subsides, that doesn’t mean I won’t be making this recipe all year long. Its great as a winter salad too thanks to hearty beets and arugula and berries from the store.

One of my new favorite salads comes from Finca, a local SLC restaurant touting tapas, fresh salads and locally sourced ingredients. I took my awesome intern there for a taste test—its all in the name of research, right?—and we both fell in love with this salad.

I tried my best at the interpretation and gave it a little spin of my own, but can’t wait to go back and try the original again.

Pickled Strawberry and Roasted Beet Salad on Ricotta
  • 4 small beets
  • 10-16 strawberries
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ½ cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey, plus 2 teaspoons
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint
  • kosher salt
  • ¼ cup fruity olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon reserved pickling vinegar
  • ¼ cup Marcona almonds, halved or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint
  1. Wrap beets in foil and coat with olive oil and salt. Seal well and roast in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool and remove skin. Slice in discs or serve whole depending on size of beets. *I use a small spoon to gently scrape the soft skin from the beet and then discard.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey to a boil with star anise and cinnamon stick. Cook for 3 minutes then remove from heat and let cool. Add strawberries and marinate for 20 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from pickling liquid and set aside.
  3. In another small saucepan, bring 3 cups water to boil, add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and then couscous. Cook to package directions then rinse under cold water and drain.
  4. In a small bowl combine ricotta and 1 teaspoon honey and mix well to combine. Set aside.
  5. Combine olive oil, reserved picking vinegar and remaining teaspoon of honey in a small bowl and whisk well for dressing.
  6. Toss arugula with dressing. Spread ricotta mixture on a plate, top with arugula, strawberries, couscous and beets. Garnish with almonds and extra dressing as desired. Add fresh mint to taste.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2

Do you have a favorite strawberry recipe? One that’s been a family favorite or something you’ve think just sounds darn good? Well there’s a contest a-brewing. And you just might win.

It’s easy and takes just one step.

Whether you’re a food blogger or a home cook with a favorite recipe to share, upload your strawberry recipe with an original photo on California Strawberry Commision’s Facebook contest page.

From there, fans of California Strawberries will rate and share their favorites, creating a viral whirlwind of strawberry sweet love.

So what’s in it for you?

Winners will receive Amazon Gift Cards in the following amounts: First Place ($500), Second Place ($350) and Third Place ($150). Plus, random prizes will be given away during the submission period and at the close of the contest on both the California Strawberries and here on FoodieCrush.

Contest Entry Steps: Submission period opens 07/31/2012 at noon PDT and ends at noon PDT 09/10/2012.

1.       Go to and click on recipe contest tab.

2.       Upload your recipe photo and enter required information, including recipe title, description, ingredient list, and directions.

3.       Optional: Share submission on Facebook to encourage “likes” from friends and family. The more you share, the more likely your fans will vote for you to win!

Who Can Enter? The contest is open to legal U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and who reside in the United States.

Recipe Requirements Recipes must be prepared with fresh or frozen strawberries and include at least two other ingredients.  There are no category restrictions. Dishes can be categorized as breakfast, lunch, dinner or appetizer. Individuals can enter up to a total of five recipes.

Judging Recipes will be rated by California Strawberries’ Facebook fans on “yum factor.” The top five entries will be judged by California Strawberry Commission staff members who will select three winning recipes based primarily on visual appeal, taste, and ease of preparation.

Let’s see what you’re favorite recipe is and spread the berrylicious love.

Click Here for Official Contest Rules

This was a sponsored post for which I was compensated and all opinions are my own and I love strawberries as much as Smudge.

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