This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free and soy-free and.. quite YUMMY!

It is my new favorite summer salad (although I don’t like avocado so left that out). The combination of strawberries, basil, avocado (if you like it) and tomatoes tossed with a touch of extra-virgin olive oil, and drizzled with homemade balsamic reduction is refreshing and a lightly sweet salad that’s great on a hot day. This recipe is lightly adapted from the Love and Lemons Cookbook (2016).


  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup hulled and sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt or fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds or chopped pecans, for serving


  1. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a simmer over medium heat. Once the vinegar starts to simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 6 to 10 minutes, uncovered, until the vinegar thickens, and reduces in volume by half. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, add the strawberries, tomatoes, avocado, and basil into a large shallow bowl.
  3. Drizzle on the oil and gently toss until the veggies are coated. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss again briefly.
  4. Scatter on your desired amount of toasted seeds or nuts. Drizzle on all of the balsamic reduction.
  5. Serve immediately. This salad is definitely best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for a few hours if necessary.

Love and Lemons Cookbook, 2016