Spread the diced strawberries across a medium serving platter or shallow serving bowl. If the strawberries aren’t sweet enough to your liking, toss them with a bit of honey or maple syrup.
Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese over the strawberries, followed by the chopped basil. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top.
Finish off the salad with the salt, a few twists of freshly ground black pepper, and the reserved basil leaves. For the most beautiful presentation, serve the salad promptly. Leftovers will keep well in the refrigerator, though, for about 3 days.
Make it dairy free/vegan: You could potentially omit the goat cheese altogether, or substitute a few dollops of vegan sour cream. For a vegan salad, use maple syrup instead of honey, if using at all.
*Balsamic vinegar note: For a beautiful drizzle, use high-quality, thick balsamic vinegar (I loveNapa Valley Naturals’ Grand Reserve Vinegar—it’s about $10 at Natural Grocers or other well-stocked grocery stores—make sure you get the bottle with “25 stars” on it) or store-bought balsamic glaze/reduction (DeLallo and Alessi make them). You can use regular runny balsamic for less beautiful results, or make your own balsamic reduction by following the note below.
How to make balsamic reduction: Bring 1 cup (or more) runny balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small, thick bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring often, until the vinegar is reduced by half, about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow the reduction to cool, then transfer to an air-tight jar and store in the pantry. Balsamic reduction is great on everything from pizza to ice cream, Caprese and green salads, and more.
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