Summer begs for food experimentation and easy to make side dishes/salads. Fresh ingredients are in abundance and cook-outs are scheduled left and right. Dining on potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, etc are fine, but does get repetitive. I view it has a challenge to think outside the box and construct side dishes and salads that are just outside the norm. This is my latest concoction: strawberry, cucumber, and mozzarella salad with dill and a simple Greek lemon-olive oil dressing.
Strawberries and cucumbers, what a fantastic pairing. The strawberries are succulent pulp and sweet, while the cucumbers are crisp and refreshing. Together, they companion well with the silky, subtle mozzarella. The fresh dill brings a unique taste, typically not served with strawberries and mozzarella. And the simple dressing of fresh lemon juice and olive oil brings a Greek Mediterranean warmth, thanks to its bright acidity.
Lots of different textures and tastes are found in each nook and cranny of this salad. You can eat this salad as is on its own side dish, which is how I prefer it. Yet, it also goes well on top of leafy greens as a proper salad. Try serving this with grilled chicken or scallops.
Strawberry, cucumber, mozzarella and dill summer salad recipe
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 20 strawberries, quartered
- 1 long cucumber, sliced into moon shapes
- 8 ounces mozzarella, cubed
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Pinch of honey
- Salt, Pepper
This is as straight-forward and easy as it can get, I think. Prep all the individual ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, add the strawberries, cucumbers, mozzarella and dill. Throughly toss these ingredients with your hands.
Pour the lemon juice and honey into a small whisking bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper once the dressing is emulsified. Immediately pour into the strawberry salad mixture and toss so that the dressing lightly coats everything. Re-season the entire salad with salt and pepper.
You can serve this immediately or better yet, a day or two later after some of the moisture from the cucumber has evaporated.