Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Strawberry, Arugula & Avocado Tostada


Something light and healthy that you could eat with friends and family on the deck this summer! Crisp, tangy, salty, creamy and peppery, topped with sweet delicious strawberries!
This is such an easy appetizer, different and fun, perfect for a Summer party on the deck with some friends!

I got a call out of the blue.  I was being asked to create a blog post to celebrate California Giant Strawberries!

Heck yes, I will! 
In full disclosure, they are paying me, and they sent me a special delivery of Giant strawberries too!  I must be living right to have this fall into my lap!

I think everyone can get excited about the new crop of fresh strawberries after a long winter and rainy spring.  But my friends, NOW is the time to get out and get some of these California Giant Strawberries.  If you are a Costco shopper (like you know I am) they are easy to find in the big 4lb tubs, plus lots of local grocery stores, like QFC and Fred Meyer are highlighting these right now too. 

While I know that you can think of the popular strawberry stand-by recipes (strawberry shortcake, strawberry scones, strawberry smoothies, and more). I wanted to make something different with these strawberries!  My inspiration for this dish was from a recent trip to Southern California for a personal trip.  We ate at this cute place in Hollywood where they made appetizer tostadas out of the pre-crisped corn tortillas with crazy veggie and cheese combination. 

A couple of tricks with strawberries since they are in season right now:
- Add them to salads, with some salty cheese and some crunchy nuts
- Freeze them to make great low-calorie smoothies that are thick and cold like ice cream!
- Make some jam to keep remembering these beauties throughout the year
- Make a strawberry simple syrup, and then you are most of the way there to make a great iced beverage, like a strawberry margarita, daiquiri or martini, or no alcohol strawberry iced tea.

I did my research and this is a very cool company; family owned, earth friendly,  and many philanthropic initiatives to support their community who just happens to grow the biggest, most beautiful strawberries that I have ever seen!

Plus, look what was on my front door step when I came home from work the other day?


Some details that you will want to know about...
  • California Giant Strawberries are available at Costco and Fred Meyer in Washington
  • It’s the best time to buy them right now because of the flavor and seasonality – stock up and freeze for later!
  • Download the iBotta app on your phone for an exclusive California Giant coupon to use at your local Costco or Fred Meyer https://ibotta.com/get-the-app
  • California Giant has partnered with other fresh produce brands to offer the chance to win a $5,000 vacation this summer – enter the sweepstakes at http://promos.calgiant.com/summer-snacking-sweepstakes-gotitcookit
 


Makes about 6-8 tostadas
Ingredients

8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup feta
1/2 bag of fresh Aruglua (or spinach)
1 avocado, sliced
1 lb of California Giant Strawberries, sliced
A bit of oil
A bit of lemon
1 package of crisp, flat tostada shells (in the tortilla section at most grocery stores)


In a food processor, thoroughly mix the cream cheese and the feta until you have a soft spreadable mixture.

In a bowl, add the arugula, or baby spinach, and toss with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Go easy on the salt as the feta/cream cheese mixture is salty too.

Slice the strawberrries into a bowl, toss gently.  No sugar will be needed for this dish, the berries should be fresh, tangy and sweet, perfect contrast to the creamy avocados and peppery arugula..

Assemble the tostadas like this:
- Spread each tostada shell with a bit of the cream cheese/feta mixture
- Top with a small amount of arugula (or spinach)
- Layer on the sliced strawberries
- Top with 3-4 thin slices of avocado
- Top with a grind of fresh pepper, if desired

I'd suggest enjoying these on the deck as a "happy hour" snack with a glass of wine, beer, or heck, why not a strawberry margarita???

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