Locally grown strawberries in the winter may seem ludicrous to most people in the United States but this isn’t the case for folks living in Central Florida. One of the benefits of living in the humid subtropical climate of Central Florida is having access to a wide variety of locally grown produce year-round, including locally grown strawberries in January and February.
Eating locally and seasonally often means savings in your pocket. Locally sourced seasonal produce does not travel as far to make it to your plate. This means that it tends to be fresher and lasts longer than out-of-season produce. When you buy produce that is grown in your county or region, you are also contributing to the local economy and helping to build community in your area.
Here is a salad recipe that features the wonderful winter variety of produce found in central Florida.
Berry and Beet Salad:
Prep Time- 20 minutes
Cook Time- 40 minutes
- 1 red or golden beet, halved
- 2 cups salad greens of choice
- 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 ½ Tbsp. chopped walnuts (optional)
- ¼ sliced red onion
- 1 oz. goat cheese
- 1 ½ tsp basil, fresh
- 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 2Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- ½ tsp Honey
- S&P to taste
- Preheat oven to 415° F.
- Put the two beet halves on a sheet of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the two halves back together and cover tightly with foil. Set the beet on a small baking sheet or in an oven-safe dish and roast for 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk the oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.
- Once the beet is cooked and cooled, peel and cut into thin slices.
- In a medium bowl combine the beets, strawberries, walnuts, and onion. Pour half the dressing mixture over the toppings and gently toss to coat.
- Place the salad greens in a large bowl and toss with the remaining dressing.
- Add the coated toppings, sprinkle the cheese and basil, and enjoy!