If you need to know one thing about me, it is that I am a sucker for the sentimentals. The smell of a campfire and the crackling shell on a freshly roasted marshmallow, the smell after a Spring rain shower, picking an apple from a tree, the sound of the needle hitting a Nat King Cole record on a snowy morning.
Food plays such an integral part in my internal memory box. Whether it’s eating a fresh pierogi at my Grandma’s kitchen table, my dad’s Sunday morning omelettes–my mom’s Graveyard pudding treat she made on Halloween growing up. Things that seem so insignificant in the moment but linger as the years pass and transport you right back.
Since we moved to Michigan, I have often craved a taste of “home”. Adam and I have cried many tears over missing Chicago-style pizza and a good Italian Beef sandwich. Things that we deemed a last resort when trying to decide on a takeout dinner on a busy weeknight are now things that we seek out every time we return to the Land of Lincoln.
When thinking of my perfect Homesick meal, this salad is high on my list. I used to walk to this little Tea Room near our first apartment in downtown Morris and grab one of their Strawberry salads before shopping the local antique stores and inevitably walking home with my arms full of rusty treasure. When I started working at one of the stores, this was my go-to lunch that I looked forward to during the warmer months when the strawberries were in season (and also my number one pregnancy craving all 3 times).
Since we are far away from the restaurant now, I decided to attempt to recreate it at home–and I think I nailed it. This salad is perfect and totally worthy of me waxing poetic over it but the real star is this Bleu Cheese dressing. So crazy good and made with ingredients you probably have in your pantry and fridge. It makes all of the elements work so beautifully together and will be a show-stopper at any potluck or dinner party you need a good salad recipe for.