Avocado & daikon salad with poppy strawberry dressing

By Jessie Lehail,
Special to The Post
It’s gardening season again. I have many memories of working with my dad in the garden. I remember getting up very early and creating neat rows in the dirt using a long, skinny piece of wood to act as a guide. We would start with the garlic and onions since they were bulbs. Next were the seeds. 
Beyond spending quality time with my Dad, my efforts had a purpose. Through my eyes, the crowning glory of the garden was the strawberries. It didn’t matter which house we lived at, there was always a special area dedicated for them, usually along the sides of the garden.
The strawberries that grew were tiny. Only a few would be ready at a time, but their colour was deep red and the flavour was spectacular. Sweet, yet tart. 
It’s a few weeks until strawberry season officially starts, so this dressing is perfect for those purchased from the store. 
This dressing is spicy, sweet, and tart – the perfect balance. Using your blender works great for dressings, because it emulsifies them very well. As with most dressings this gets better as it sits in the fridge.  
• 2 avocados, thinly sliced
• ½ cup daikon, shredded
Raai Strawberry Dressing
• 1 cup fresh strawberries (leave whole)
• ¼ of an onion 
• 4 cloves garlic 
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
• ½ cup oil (any flavorless oil)
• 2 teaspoons poppy seeds (black or yellow) 
• 2 teaspoons garam masala 
• 1/2 teaspoon salt (more if needed)
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
• 1/2 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango powder) 
• ½ teaspoon ground chili powder 
• 1 tablespoon black poppy seeds  
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Puree for one to two minutes. Keep in a jar or container with a lid, and chill until ready to use. Keeps for 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator.
Jessie Lehail is the author of Indian Influence, a food blog that takes global eats and reinterprets them with a South Asian influence. Visit her blog at www.indianinfluence.ca.
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