Here in Sacramento, we're very privileged to be able to enjoy an abundance of fresh produce thanks to local growers and farmers markets. It's exciting to mark the changing seasons with an ever-changing variety of fruits and vegetables. Did you know that eating produce in season is both better for you and for the community?
We've found some good reasons to enjoy food in season and today we're sharing a recipe for the perfect spring salad. According to The Seasonal Food Guide, these are some of the benefits to eating what's growing right now:
- Seasonal fruits and vegetables produced on local farms are fresher, as they do not require long distances for transport.
- Crops picked at their peak of ripeness are better tasting and full of flavor
- Fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients when allowed to ripen naturally on their parent plant.
- The cost of ripe, seasonal produce purchased locally is less than out-of-season imports.
- Seasonal, locally grown foods are environmentally friendly, since they don't require as much transportation.
You can learn more about how to enjoy our region's bounty of local produce here.
Try this delicious spring salad made with seasonal favorites, arugula and strawberries. It's free of processed sugars and can be adapted for vegan eating. Yum!
Arugula Salad with Strawberries, Pistachios, and Goat Cheese
For the salad:
- 4 cups baby arugula (or mixed baby greens)
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced (other berries like raspberries or blueberries can be used, as well)
- 1/2 cup pistachios (almonds, pecans, or walnuts are good options, too)
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (for a vegan option, use cashew cheese)
For the balsamic vinaigrette:
- 1/2 clove minced garlic
- 1 overflowing tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Note: you can also substitute homemade vinaigrette with your favorite from the store.
- Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a small jar or container with a tight-fitting lid, all all of the balsamic vinaigrette ingredients. Cover and shake well to combine.
- Drizzle salad with the vinaigrette and toss well to combine.
- Serve immediately.
This particular salad is best served fresh, but we have some fantastic ideas for salads that you can prepare now and enjoy later, here.
Recipe adapted from Family Food on the Table.