Elevate your salad game with this vibrant Spinach Strawberry Salad, a perfect blend of sweet, savory, and crunch. Toasted walnuts and a dash of cardamom add an exotic twist you won't be able to resist.
Why This Recipe Is a Winner
Salads are my go-to for enjoying a variety of fresh greens and veggies. Whether it's the bold flavors of a Strawberry Arugula Salad or the subtle notes in a Belgian Endives Boston Lettuce Salad, I'm all about that fresh veggie medley.
This versatile Spinach Strawberry Salad is not only a delightful appetizer but also a fantastic companion to grilled meats. While it truly shines with in-season strawberries, don't hesitate to serve it up for your Thanksgiving or Christmas feasts using quality off-season fruit.
And if you're looking to expand your culinary horizons, this salad pairs wonderfully with seafood and poultry dishes. Try it alongside my Cedar Plank Salmon on Mixed Greens for a pescatarian delight, or let it complement the spicy and citrusy notes in my One-Pan Harissa Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Lime.
Ingredients for Spinach Strawberry Salad:
While you can source the ingredients for this Strawberry Feta Salad all year, they truly come alive in the spring and summer months. Trust me, it's worth the wait if you can hold out for peak-season produce.
- Plus salt and pepper to taste
Substitution list of ingredients:
- Walnuts- If, for whatever reason, you do not want walnuts in your salad (allergies, not available or just hate them), you can use pecans, sliced almonds, cashews, or even pine nuts. If you are allergic to nuts in general, just skip them entirely.
- Spinach Alternatives: Arugula or mixed greens can be used for a different flavor profile.
- Strawberries- Use good quality strawberries. If not available, a good option would be raspberries or even blueberries. I would not recommend anything else besides that.
- Lemon juice- You can replace it with vinegar. I always have apple cider vinegar in my kitchen, but white, red vinegar, or balsamic are all excellent options.
- Cheese- I like Feta cheese, but goat cheese is delicate, flavorful, and works well. Try to buy good quality Feta cheese, as the one already crumbled in a plastic container at the grocery store is not great. A good chunk of Feta that you crumble with your clean fingers is better than anything else. Just sayin' 🙂
How To Make Strawberry Spinach Salad:
Step 1. Roast the walnuts. The process is straightforward. You start with the walnuts. The walnuts need to be toasted with the cardamom in a pan on low heat, moving them constantly to develop the flavor.
Please keep an eye on them, as they can burn really fast. When you are done with them, remove them from the heat and allow them to cool while making the salad.
Step 2. For peace of mind, wash all spinach thoroughly, regardless of its source. Too many stories of grocery-bought greens causing illness make a strong case for being cautious. If leaves are oversized, snip them to bite-size, taking care not to crush their delicate structure.
For the next step, your choice: thinly slice or dice the red onion. As for strawberries, stem and slice them thinly.
Step 3. Place the baby spinach, slices of onions, and strawberries in a large bowl. Add the toasted walnuts, and sprinkle crumbled Feta cheese or goat cheese over the salad. Optional, add the crisp bacon.
Step 4. Make the vinaigrette:
Put extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice (or the vinegar of your choice), salt, and pepper in a small jar. Cover the jar and shake well until emulsified.
Step 5. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and toss gently to coat everything. Serve right away.
Tips for Making the Perfect Spinach Strawberry Salad:
- Timing: If you're not serving the salad immediately, keep the dressing on the side to avoid wilting the spinach.
- Garnish: A sprinkle of freshly chopped basil or mint can add an additional layer of complexity to the salad.
- Prepping Ahead: If you're tight on time, you can wash and dry your spinach, and even slice your strawberries and onions a day ahead. Store them separately in airtight containers in the fridge.
What shall I serve with this salad?
- Chicken Dishes: Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs, 10 Easy Bone-In Chicken Breast Recipes, Chicken Marbella.
- Fish- Try some of these 47 Best Salmon Recipes.
- Side dish- Baby Potatoes With Butter And Dill, Pearl Couscous With Almonds And Raisins.
- Bread- Fresh, crusty sourdough or a baguette, possibly with a whipped herb butter, could be a simple and satisfying addition. Try these 25 Savory Quick Bread Recipes.
- White Wine or Rosé: A chilled glass of white wine or rosé could enhance the flavors of the salad and its accompaniments.
More recipes with spinach :
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Spinach Strawberry Salad
- 8 ounces baby spinach
- 5-6 medium strawberries
- 1 small red onion
- optional: 2-3 slices of crunchy crisp bacon
- ½ cup crumbled Feta or goat cheese
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- In a small pan, place the chopped walnuts and the cardamom. On medium-low heat, toss the walnuts and cardamom for a minute until the walnuts start to brown and smell fragrant&toasted. Make sure the walnuts don't burn, so stir constantly to ensure even toasting. Remove and let cool.
- Meanwhile, clean the spinach and cut into suitable pieces without crushing.
- Slice thinly or dice(based on your preference) the red onion and add it to the spinach.
- Clean the strawberries, remove the stems and slice them thin. Add them to the spinach.
- Add the cooled chopped walnuts.
- Optional, add chopped crisp bacon.
- Sprinkle crumbled Feta cheese or goat cheese over.
- Make a vinaigrette with oil, vinegar(or lemon juice), salt and pepper and pour over the salad.
- Toss gently the ingredients in the bowl, so they get coated with the dressing. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
- Serve immediately.