Ode to Willamette Valley: Mt. Hood Strawberry & Arugula Salad

Discover Oregon’s Willamette Valley, a sanctuary nestled amidst breathtaking landscapes and hazelnut orchards, and home to Caring for the Capitol. Renowned for its fertile land, this region brims with an abundance of exquisite produce that captivates food enthusiasts alike. Celebrate this natural wonder through a delightful salad that encapsulates its essence “Mt. Hood Strawberry & Arugula Salad.” Indulge in the flavors that thrive in this idyllic haven as the sweetness of ripe strawberries and the peppery notes of arugula unite, offering a taste of nature’s finest creations. Join us on a culinary journey, where each bite pays homage to the land that nourishes it.

Recipe, Ingredient List | Instructions:


  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions, cut lengthwise
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1/4 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 ounces arugula
  • 1-ounce goat cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, cut crosswise
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1. Warm vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 1 1/2 minutes.

  1. Place onion slices in a small bowl, toss with vinegar, and set aside for at least 2 hours to pickle and soften. Drain onion and reserve liquid.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small sauté pan, add hazelnuts and stir to coat with oil. Sprinkle sea salt over nuts and sauté, stirring, for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large salad bowl, combine arugula, cheese, hazelnuts, drained onions and strawberries. Lightly toss with the pickling liquid and the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  4. Finish with pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.