Warm Strawberry Salad | CUESA

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Warm Strawberry Salad


Daniel Clayton and Trace Leighton of Origen: a farm to fork restaurant

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on June 18, 2011


½ cup walnut halves
1 tablespoon unbleached cane sugar
¼ teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ pound mizuna, cleaned
½ cup sunflower sprouts
1 basket strawberries, sliced or halved  
3 medjool dates, seeded and sliced          
4 tablespoons blackberry vinaigrette (recipe on back page) 

Blackberry Vinaigrette
1 basket ripe blackberries (loganberries or marionberries will work well too)
3 tablespoons zinfandel vinegar
1 shallot, finely minced
⅙ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs mojito mint, minced
4 sprigs Italian parsley, minced
1 teaspoon orange zest, finely minced
Salt and pepper, to taste


1.    Preheat oven to 375°.  Toss walnuts with sugar, cayenne, ½ teaspoon oil and a pinch of salt. Lay out on a baking sheet and toast for approximately 8 minutes or lightly golden and aromatic. Let cool.

2.    Heat remaining oil over medium heat. Place greens and sprouts in a large mixing bowl. Add strawberries and dates to heated pan. Keep contents of the pan moving so the sugars don’t burn, cook until strawberries are just softening. Using a slotted spoon, remove fruit to bowl. Toss lightly, drizzle with vinaigrette and add walnuts. Adjust seasonings.  Serve.

Notes: will work nicely with a creamy blue cheese such as gorgonzola dolce. Pecans will substitute well for the walnuts, but cook somewhat more quickly.

For the vinaigrette
Pulverize berries in a food processor, pulsing so as not to crush too many seeds. Gently strain into mixing bowl. Add vinegar and shallot, macerate for 10 minutes. Whisk in oil, add aromatics, adjust seasoning. Will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days, shaking well before use. A slight touch of honey might be a useful addition if the berries are extremely tart.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »