The strawberries have arrived! Mind you, they’re not prime specimens of throbbing strawberryhood, but I think we are safely past those first crunchy, tough, no-flavor, wannabe strawberries. These actually have a bit of strawberry scent to them, & flavor too!
What to do with early strawberries? After the first delirious few, they’re not really that great for just popping in your mouth. These are the strawberries you put in things: in your breakfast granola, in smoothies, & of course, in salads. (Shocking!)
Herewith, Friend of a Friend Salad. (Folklorists abbreviate this ever-elusive “primary source” as FOAF, which is pronounced exactly how it looks—rhymes with loaf.) Spinach is friends with bacon. Spinach is also friends with strawberries. Bacon, meet Strawberries. Strawberries brought along their good friend, balsamic vinegar. Kettle Krinkle chips (lightly salted) are friends with everybody they ever met, apparently, although maybe not in quite the same way as those other friendships I just mentioned.
Wash & dry about equal amounts of baby spinach & assorted young chicories (enough to fill the salad spinner, is how I measured the total quantity), & throw them in a large salad bowl.
Sauté a sliced red onion in olive oil with a little bit of salt & pepper (bacon will bring more of both, since we had a kind that was quite encrusted with pepper); after some progress add about 4 slices of bacon, snipped into little pieces. When everything is nicely caramelized, add a handful of pinenuts & some more olive oil. Stir & integrate; then dribble in some balsamic vinegar & dump the whole shebang on top of your greens. Toss with abandon.
Then slice a few strawberries & crumble some of the chips on top. It’s spring!