Any visit to Plant City right now should involve strawberry indulgence.
That’s why we take a drive out to Parkesdale. That’s why we wait in a line that wraps around the parking lot. You can smell strawberries all over town, luring you in. Whether it’s a strawberry milkshake or a strawberry shortcake, you can’t deny yourself once you get to Plant City strawberry heaven. There’s a law against it I’m pretty sure. As a veteran of sugar-induced comas, I can help you recover. Once you reach the bottom of the whipped-cream cloud, you’ve got to stand up. I know you don’t want to, but you’ve got to. Take a little stroll. You’ll discover this giant grove stand has other offerings. It’s only now, after eating a lot of them, that you can see beyond the traffic-light red berries. Of course you should select a flat to bring home, but look, there’s a whole rainbow of other produce. It’s still citrus season, remember? And Florida winter greens are at their best. Do yourself a favor and fill a bag with all those colors as well. Once you get home, you’ll be so thankful for a giant bowl of Plant City goodness, minus all the sweet fluff. I’m eating some version of this every day of the week right now. I love a mix of arugula and herbs, especially mint, along with citrus (suprême them so there’s no pith, then squeeze the juice into the dressing), plus those ruby-red strawberries. Pickled red onions add a savory tang (bonus points if you use strawberry onions), jicama brings a crisp bite, some silky avocado for a creamy element, and a handful of toasty pecans. Got all the bases covered for texture, flavor, & color freaks alike. Whisk up my favorite homemade citrus poppyseed dressing to bring it all together. You can almost feel the vitamins bringing you back to life. You can have your strawberry shortcake, but eat a salad, too.
Plant City Grove Stand Salad
- 1 orange suprêmed
- 1 grapefruit suprêmed
- 8 cups arugula
- 1 cup fresh herbs (mint, basil, parsley)
- 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 cup sliced jicama
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans
- 1 red onion, strawberry onion, or Vidalia onion thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
Citrus Poppyseed Dressing
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp citrus juice (orange and grapefruit)
- citrus zest (orange and grapefruit)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp poppyseeds
- First, zest the orange and grapefruit, saving the zest for the dressing.Next, suprême the citrus (follow link in the post for more visual instructions) by first slicing off the peel, then slicing in between each section of pith like pages of a book so individual gems of citrus are released. Once you reach the end of the book, squeeze the remaining core into a dish and reserve the juice for the dressing.Arrange the arugula and herbs in a salad bowl, top with citrus, strawberries, jicama, avocado, toasted pecans, pickled red onions (recipe to follow) and drizzle with citrus poppyseed dressing (recipe to follow).
- Whisk apple cider vinegar, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Submerge the thinly sliced onions, adding more vinegar if necessary so the onions are covered. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Citrus Poppyseed Dressing
- In a jar or bowl, whisk the apple cider vinegar, reserved citrus juice and zest, honey, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking, then add the poppyseeds. Taste and adjust how you like.
Beautiful….can’t wait to make your healthy salad! It’s that time of year to enjoy Strawberries!
Welcome back to the land of sunshine, Evangelia! See you soon.
Your writing is a pleasure to read Danielle. This is a really great post!
I noticed today that my semi-frozen bed of strawberry plants is starting to consider waking up. No berries before June for us though.
Thank you for yet another interesting recipe.
Thank you, Ali. I’d love to see what the garden beds look like as they come back from the cold. I’m only now realizing this salad is vegan. A good one to make during family week this summer, not that we have any shortage recipes between us. I’m so looking forward to seeing all of you.
Oohmygosh that looks so decadent and delicious!
I’m so glad strawberry season is returning!
We’ve had some incredibly sweet ones lately, even from Publix (which come from Plant City right now, too). I’m so happy to eat them every day and every whichaway.
Such a beautiful salad creation. I love all “seasons” in Florida but this is my favorite time of year! I’m on the west coast this week and looking forward to picking up a flat of strawberries on my way home. And strawberry onions for the win! Thanks for the inspiration to make this when I get home.
Thanks, bt! Please take whatever you want from my garden, too! I didn’t have a chance to go by Fruitscapes, but they probably have a ton of good stuff right now. Hope you and Finn have a great week.
OMG I can’t wait to make this salad! My aunt and uncle have a citrus grove in Plant City I have fond memories of that town! 🙂
Lucky you! I love it there. I might go again this weekend so I can hook up this salad one more time before the season ends.