CRUNCHY STRAWBERRY & GOAT'S CHEESE SALAD WITH BALSAMIC POPPYSEED DRESSING
1 /4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons poppy seed
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 packet mixed baby leaves
250 g strawberries, halved
150 g goat's cheese
1/3 cup sugared pecans
Mix dressing ingredients together, pour over strawberries and allow to stand for at least 15 minutes. Arrange salad leaves and cheese on a platter, add strawberries and top with sugared pecans.
COOK'S NOTES: Both balsamic vinegar and black pepper bring out the flavor of strawberries so make sure you allow them to stand in this dressing for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. As an alternative you could blend half the strawberries with the dressing ingredients to make a pretty pink berry dressing and then serve over the greens, cheese, remaining strawberries and nuts. If you agree with a friend's sentiment that 'goat's cheese tastes like a goat smells' then replace with feta or Bulgarian cheese. The sugared pecans are often called Chinese pecans and are the dark brown, sweet pecan nuts sold in packets at all supermarkets.