For many years, my father had a hush-hush arrangement with a stand holder at Lancaster Central Market. I only learned about it last year when he delivered a coveted box of the first homegrown strawberries after I had come home empty handed only hours before.
After shopping at Market for sixty-plus years, my father seemingly earned the favor of the first few boxes of berries from one special stand. These gems are hidden below until he arrives and the clandestine swap is made.
To protect the parties involved—and in hopes that I remain a recipient of these early delicacies—I offer no names.
There is nothing like those first few homegrown berries, with their glossy exterior and natural sweetness. In our house, the first few cartons are typically consumed straight up. But when our supply is plentiful enough to cook with them, this is one of several recipes we enjoy over and over.
When strawberry season is over, try this dressing in a salad using other berries, peaches, mango, kiwi, or a combination of your favorites.
Yields 6-8 serving; 4 servings when topped with chicken and served as a main dish.
- 1 head romaine, butter, or leaf lettuce or spinach (or a mixture of several)
- 1 pint strawberries, sliced
- 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I typically use 0% fat; low-fat works well, too)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup non-fat milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 2 tablespoons tarragon or white wine vinegar
Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
Mix all of the dressing ingredients well. Drizzle just enough of the dressing over the salad to lightly coat when tossed.
Store the remaining dressing in a jar in the refrigerator; shake well before using. The dressing will keep for about a week.