I am getting towards the end of my strawberry posts. One more in line for tomorrow, and then we can return to the typical variety of recipes that find their way to my site. When I was searching for recipes to use my strawberries, I noticed that there are relatively few recipes that use fresh strawberries in a savory nature. I am not sure why this is, but I knew that I needed to find some non-baked ways to use a few berries so that we didn’t end up with WAY too many baked goods.
This recipe from Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod was my starting point. While I have heard lots of good things about spinach and strawberry salads, I had never tried one before. Many of them have a sweet poppy seed-like dressing and use the strawberries primarily as a topping, but I liked how Maria used a strawberry puree on hers. Knowing that strawberries pair quite well with balsamic vinegar, I adapted the dressing to include balsamic vinegar and added a little bit extra sugar to offset the tartness of the vinegar.
The result. We loved it! We usually have a small salad prior to eating our main dish for supper, and this was a great way to switch things up a little bit. Since this was a spur of the moment recipe, I didn’t have any almonds in the house like Maria used, but I think toasted almonds would make a great addition to this salad. It would also be great with different fruits including other berries or mandarin oranges. If you are still looking for a last minute Easter side dish, this would make a great light addition to a dinner spread. Enjoy!
Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Dressing
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
1 lb. fresh spinach
1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted if desired
2 ounces feta cheese
7 large strawberries, cut in half
juice from 1 lemon (about 3 Tbsp)
1-2 tsp. honey (to taste)
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (more or less to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
Place the spinach in a bowl. Top with sliced strawberries, almonds, and feta cheese.
For the dressing, place strawberries in a blender or food processor. Squeeze lemon juice into the blender. Add balsamic vinegar. Drizzle with honey to taste. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over spinach and strawberry salad just before serving.
Yield: 4 servings