Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
I’m really not the biggest fan of making salads. It can get a bit costly and time-consuming if you decide to make a fancy schmancy salad packed with all kinds of ingredients. But this particular salad is the quickest, simplest, yet tastiest salad I’ve ever had. It requires very few ingredients – spinach, strawberries, goat cheese, and pecans – and takes just minutes to whip up (unless you want to caramelize the pecans but raw pecans works just fine), leaving you with a beautifully vibrant-looking salad. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the ingredients because this baby is packed with flavors and all kinds of textures – from the juicy strawberries to the fluffy goat cheese smeared on the spinach leaves and the added crunch from the pecans. If you have the time, I urge you to make this simple, poppy seed vinaigrette to go along with this refreshing salad. You won’t be sorry.
Strawberry Spinach Salad (inspired from For the Love of Cooking):
Yields 4 servings
- 1/2 cup raw pecans
- 1 egg white, optional
- 2 tablespoons sugar, optional
- 10 ounces baby spinach
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled quartered
Poppy Seed Vinaigrette (adapted from For the Love of Cooking):
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8×8 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
To caramelize the pecans, combine the pecans and egg white in small bowl. Remove the pecans with a fork, draining off as much of the egg white as possible.
Place the pecans onto the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with sugar and gently toss to coat.
Place into oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the pecans are dry. Let cool completely.
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and poppy seeds in a small bowl.
To assemble the salad, place the spinach in a large bowl; top with the goat cheese, strawberries and pecans. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.