I was first introduced to Strawberry Spinach Salad at a ladies church luncheon a few years ago. My first reaction to fresh sweet strawberries mingled with bright green spinach was apprehension, but once I tried it my palate couldn’t have been more pleased. This beautiful appearing salad has just the right touch of sweetness from the strawberries and tartness from the vinegar dressing with a perfect undertone of buttery pecans.
When I recreated the salad at home (without a recipe to guide me nonetheless), I made a couple changes. Although not necessary, I toasted the chopped pecans in a light brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger coating. I also added fresh green onions from my garden for some interest. Additional ingredients that would have been a wonderful accompanying flavor are chopped fried bacon and/or a few ounces of cooked chicken. Fresh Parmesan cheese grated over the top can be a great final touch.
Why I love this salad:
I love this salad not only because it tastes great, but also because my kids love it! Another great reason I adore this salad is because it’s very nutritious. Just the spinach and strawberries alone are full of B vitamins and good sources of dietary fiber. Just one cup of strawberries has almost 150% of the daily value of vitamin C. One cup of raw spinach is a great source of vitamin A and potassium. Both are sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
1/2 c red wine vinegar (I used 1/4 cup each red wine and tarragon wine vinegars)
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 T brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
generous dash black pepper (optional)
1/8 tsp salt
3 large ripe strawberries, finely minced or pureed
1 T chopped green onion (optional)
1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1 pint fresh strawberries
8-10 cups fresh spinach
In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients together. Whisk very well. Toss together the strawberries and spinach in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over top and mix well to coat.
Makes 8-10 one cup servings.