Last night, I went to an Austin Film Festival screening of Spinning Plates with my mom. It was a documentary about three wildly different restaurants, their incredible owners and the unexpected commonalities between them. Seriously one of my favorite films of the year, and I was amazed at how I took something different away from each story: the power of generosity (Breitbach’s Country Dining), the power of family (La Cocina de Gabby) and the power of art (Alinea.) And the entire film reminded me of how meaningful food can be and reawakened my desire to experiment in the kitchen! Today’s recipe isn’t exactly experimental, but it is the perfect way to kick off Mother’s Day brunch this weekend, or really any springtime gathering where you want to spotlight the season’s prettiest lettuces and berries. I served this at the brunch we shot with Hayneedle a few weeks ago, and it was such a hit. The creamy brie, marcona almonds and ripe berries sort of made it feel like a cheese plate in salad form, and the balsamic-honey dressing is made up of a handful of ingredients but couldn’t be more delish. Keep reading for the recipe…
- 6 – 8 cups mixed tender lettuce (butter, arugula, red leaf, baby green oak, etc.)
- 1 cup strawberries, rinsed and hulled
- 1/3 cup marcona almonds
- 4 oz wedge of brie
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Wash and dry the lettuces, then tear into bite-sized pieces in a large bowl. Quarter the strawberries lengthwise, then add to the bowl.
- Add marcona almonds, and holding the brie over the bowl, use a paring knife to cut it into 1/2″ slices.
- In a small bowl, mix together vinegar, honey and dijon. While whisking, slowly stream in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add just enough dressing to the salad to lightly coat the lettuce leaves. Toss gently, then sprinkle a bit more sea salt over the top.
*images by Buff Strickland