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Strawberry Festival Salad

I was asked to develop a strawberry recipe this year for the Philadelphia Orchard Project's annual Strawberry Festival from our Wild Medicine Woman, Alyssa Shimmel. I decided to go over the top with a whipped strawberry dressing and strawberry nut cheese. I love experimenting with nut cheeses and why not add strawberries? I found if it is served on flatbread along with the salad you have a complete meal. I prefer not to have processed bottled salad dressing so I always experiment with making my own from unusual ingredients. Top your salad with protein rich nuts and hemp seeds as well as some wild medicinal plants.

Dressing Ingredients:

1 large juicy organic lemon or 2 small ones

4 large organic strawberries

1/3 extra virgin olive oil-preferably made in Greece

1/3 cup water

Himalayan pink salt to taste

Cheese Ingredients:

1 lb. raw cashews

juice and zest of 1 organic lemon

10 medium organic strawberries

Himalayan pink salt to taste

whole wheat crackers or crisp flat bread

Salad Ingredients:

1 lb of spring mix with baby romaine leaves

6-8 strawberries

1/4 cup pistachio nuts

1/4 cup Gogi berries or cranberries

1/4 cup finely chopped wild dandelion, plantain or violet

1/4 cup hemp seeds or hemp hearts

2-3 organic mini Persian cucumbers cut into medallions or triangle quarters

2-3 spring onions chopped into medallions

Dressing Instructions: Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and whip on high speed. Process till velvety.

* your bottled dressing will last a few days in the refrigerator

Cheese Instructions: Soak the in a jar of water cashews for 6 hours at room temperature. If you do not have time to make the cheese after soaking just stop the fermentation process by putting away the soaked cashews in the refrigerator. Add cashews to a high speed blender along with lemon, strawberries and salt. Start with the the low speed setting until nuts are fully incorporated into wet ingredients. Process till creamy. Serve on hearty textured crackers or flatbread.

* you will have lost of leftover cheese that can be frozen for 6 months or kept in refrigeratior fo ra few days

* a wonderful variation is to add a half cup of pecans and 1/4 cup dried cranberries to your cheese

Salad Instructions: Beatifully arrange the strawberries, cucumbers, onion, ad dried berries on a bed of spring mix .Add a chiffonade of wild plants. Drizzle your dressing . Sprinkle with pistachios and hemp seeds. Enjoy bites of strawberry cheese toast with your salad .

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