Wow, what a feeling! Last Thursday I had the last exam of my studies at the university. I feel so unbelievably relieved but also wistful, as this also means that we are leaving Amsterdam and moving back to Finland in a few days. We moved here in August and the last 10 months have passed by so fast. My boyfriend managed to do a master’s degree while being here and I also did a couple of courses at the university of Amsterdam. I definitely won’t miss studying but instead I know I’m going to miss the city, all its lovely cafes, restaurants, parks and shops and of course the new friends we made this year. But luckily I miss home a lot as well, so it definitely feels nice to go back, enjoy the Summer and see all of my friends and family.
Even though I’ve still got some work to do, I’ve switched to vacation mode and feel relaxed. Once we’ve survived from the third move within a year (ugh), I’m just gonna take it easy, read books and magazines (haven’t done so since last Autumn!), cook and bake a lot, and swim in the sea and walk in the forest. I just read in the news that there’s going to be a great season for bilberries this year, so you’ll probably find me every morning in the forest with my lips and hands covered in that berry goodness. Got to make up for the last 10 months without my daily wild blueberry fix! But before I’ll get to that, let me share my traditional Summer salad, the one that I keep coming back to.
We make this salad with one of my girlfriends every year and it has become quite a symbol of easy Summer days for me. This year I started the season by myself and have been savoring this same dish for days now. The market nearby has an abundance of strawberries at the moment, so now it’s the perfect time to be cooking with them, as well as eating them just as they are. Delicious that is!
This salad doesn’t really need a recipe, as it’s so quick and easy to make. This might be in your repertoire already but if not, now’s the time to make it! The combination of strawberries, crunchy cucumber, avocado and feta cheese is purely divine and the salad is fresh and satisfying at the same time. And the dark balsamic vinegar is a must! But don’t also forget the herb croutons or roasted nuts, as every salad needs to have some crunch. And if you’d like to take this meal up a notch, serve it with some fresh organic rosé vine, which is my favorite on gentle summer nights.
Now I’m gonna eat a few strawberries, continue packing and then enjoy the last days in Amsterdam. Have wonderful Summer days friends and enjoy all the strawberries you can eat!
Summer Salad with Strawberries, Avocado & Feta Cheese
plenty of dark leafy greens
a piece of cucumber
1 ripe avocado
couple handfuls of local strawberries
100 g feta cheese (I use sheep or goat)
herb croutons (instructions below) or roasted nuts
extra virgin olive oil
dark balsamic vinegar
freshly ground sea salt & black pepper
Rinse and dry the salad. Cut the cucumber, avocado and strawberries into smaller pieces. Fill two plates with plenty of salad and add cucumber, avocado and strawberries on top. Crumble the feta cheese on top as well and serve with a generous drop of olive oil, dark balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and some herb croutons.
Gluten free Herb Croutons
a few pieces of gluten free bread
fresh rosemary or other fresh herbs
Cut the bread into small squares. Heat a large frying pan, add some olive oil and the bread and fry on low heat for a few minutes. Add the herbs and fry until golden brown.