Yesterday morning, I took my two girls berry picking for the first time. There is a local berry farm about 40 minutes from where we live and they have several varieties of strawberries and red, yellow and black raspberries.
The black raspberries were not ready yet but we got some really beautiful strawberries and red raspberries as well as some yellow raspberries. The yellow ones were just really starting to produce, so we didn't get a lot of them but we were able to pick enough so that the girls could taste them. They loved picking their own berries and I am hoping to go back in a few days to get some of those elusive black raspberries. I've already got a fresh cobbler on my mind...with fresh coconut whipped cream or a little non-dairy vanilla icecream...
Sorry, you will have to forgive me, I was in deep daydream mode there for a second!
The berries are not organic but as Farmer Karl at Lakeview Farms explained to me, Missouri is a difficult place to grow organic berries as our Spring season is typically very wet and therefore very buggy. He sprays minimally and well before the plants reallys start to produce. In this climate, it's the best he can do while keeping prices reasonable. As I can't afford organic berries most of the time anyway, I was okay with this. Another great thing about Lakeview Farms is that they only hire local people, so they are supporting their local community. I soooo respect that.
As we were driving home (well, in all honestly, as soon as I got my eyes on all those gorgeous berries on the vines, just waiting for our eager hands to claim them) I was already developing recipes in my head and couldn't wait to start giving them a try.
You should know my method of developing recipe is pretty simple and organic. It goes like this: Idea--Conceptualize--Research--Execute. I am a pretty good cook (not a chef!) and am pretty creative and mostly fearless in the kitchen. If a recipe turns out well and my family eats it with no complaints, I say it's good to go and I post it. I've been lucky with a lot of them in that the first attempt is pretty tasty and ready to share.
This Strawberry Basil Pesto was like that. I decided that the perfect way to use it would be on a simple, light Spring Salad wrap. I chose romaine lettuce for the crunch and fresh sliced cucumbers, sliced avacado, red onion, more fresh strawberries and some chopped pecans rounded it out nicely. I used a sprouted grain wrap but you can use any kind of wrap that you like. I first spread some of the Pesto on the wrap, then assembled it. I topped it with my most very favorite balsamic vinaigrette from the Oh She Glows cookbook by Angela Liddon, one of my favorite plant-based food bloggers and cookbook authors. Check out her site Here. I finished the wrap with a little more of the Pesto.
The result was a light but filling wrap that boasted a lovely balance of texture, sweet and savory flavors and acidity, all while being incredibly healthy! The only negative I can say about it is that it was messy to eat! I had a good amount of Pesto left for freezing and future use. I'm considering another pasta salad...ahh, but that's a post yet to come, my friends!
Spring Salad Wrap with Fresh Strawberry Basil Pesto
(Prep time: About 15 minutes for the pesto and 10 for the wrap. Serves 1)
Strawberry Basil Pesto (recipe here)
1 sprouted grain tortilla, or wrap of your choice
1 large romaine lettuce leaf, torn in half
Fresh cucumber slices, sliced avacado, sliced red onion, sliced strawberries, and chopped pecans
Your favorite slightly sweet vinaigrette (totally optional but highly recommended for the acid)
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
What's your favorite way to enjoy fresh berries in the Spring and Summer? If you try this wrap, please let me know what you think of it!