Strawberry spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Strawberry spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette

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Because of their growing season, I associate strawberries with the best times of the year. Strawberries are the domain of long sunny days, warm walks, fireflies, and farmers markets. They also happen to pop up in time for my birthday, wedding anniversary, and summer vacations. Even aside from their inherent juicy sweetness, strawberries have some very positive associations.

As they’re one of my all-time favorite fruits, our wedding cake had slivers of strawberries between the layers. And growing up, it wasn’t unusual for me to have strawberry shortcake as my birthday cake.

Spinach salad with strawberries

Even though strawberries are typically associated with desserts, don’t let that fool you. They can go into salads like a champ.

This summery spinach salad with strawberries highlights some of the best of the season.  It includes spring onions, celery, and pistachios for a little nutty crunch. It’s bright and light in all of the ways that you want when the temperatures are warm and the humidity is on the rise.

The salad is topped with a drizzling of homemade balsamic vinaigrette. The pungent tartness of the vinegar pairs particularly nicely with the ripeness of the berries.

You’ll likely have twice as much vinaigrette as you’ll need. However, it’s better to have too much than not enough. You can save the leftovers in the refrigerator for future salad endeavors.  (The oil will harden in the refrigerator.  So set it out on the counter for about a half an hour before using again. Then give it a good shake.)

To make a meal of spinach salad with strawberries, serve it with cashew cheese and crackers. Or pair it with marinated lentils or lemon baked tofu as a protein-packed addition. Oh, and don’t forget a little bowl of warmed Castelvetrano olives with lemon & garlic on the side.

Speaking of Castelvetrano olives… (Nice segue, right?) I recently created a video for my warmed olives recipe. I’m now sharing one new video a week on Facebook & Instagram. Follow me on either or both of those social media sites, so that you don’t miss it! Not on Facebook? You can see all of the new videos on my blog video page as well.

Remember this spinach salad with strawberries for your summer potlucks and picnics.  When strawberries are in season, there’s no reason to limit them to sweets alone.  Buy a pint of berries and get slicing.

Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side

Summery spinach salad with strawberries

Strawberries aren't just for sundaes and smoothies. They make salads infinitely more exciting. With a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, this is a salad you'll be returning to all summer long.

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Ingredients

  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, quartered and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons pistachios
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon stoneground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
Read the whole recipe on Cadry's Kitchen