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Its strawberry season, so prepare yourselves.  I love berries almost more than life itself. So, no that we’ve entered my favorite time of year, and fresh berries are abundant, I warn you that there will be more than one post about berries this summer.

The picture above is of my favorite local strawberries that you can get in grocery stores. Sakuma Brothers are located in Skagit Valley and are sweet, juicy and delicious!  The kids and I ate this entire box in one day.  I piled them on my new favorite salad.

Berry, Walnut Salad with a Walnut Balsamic Vinaigrette

Chop up some romaine or use baby spinach, toss with whatever berries are fresh and in season and a few toasted walnuts.  Drizzle with Walnut Balsamic Dressing and glory in the healthy goodness that is your lunch.

I tell you, once you start making your own dressings and using fresh seasonal produce, you will never go back.

Walnut Balsamic Vinaigrette

Mix equal parts Walnut Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.  I like a 1:1 ratio for a spicier vinaigrette, but feel free to go 2:1 if you like it a bit tamer. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.  Put in whatever cute little jar you’ve got with a tight fitting lid and let your kids go crazy shaking it up.

This is one salad that they might actually eat.

This salad is deceptively simple, but sweet, tart and absolutely mind blowing.  I’ve been eating it for “dessert” since I’ve been on this detox diet and it satisfies my sweet cravings.

Walnut Oil can be tricky to find, but I got this one at Safeway, so it is out there. Just ask if you can’t find it.  And once you have it, be sure to keep it in the fridge as its not as stable as olive oil.  Use a good quality vinegar as well (as you generally want to do with any fresh dressing). This will keep for a few weeks stored in your fridge.  And bonus- walnut oil doesn’t harden in the fridge, so no need to warm it up like you do olive oil based dressings!

Stay tuned for my u-pick day in the rain, followed by a jam canning free for all…

If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy the strawberry harvest check out my frozen yogurt covered strawberries, and strawberry popsicles recipe.

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