Thanks to Melissa’s Produce for providing produce for this Strawberry Spinach Salad recipe!
When life gets unpredictable and stressful I turn to food. Cooking gives me the control to create a delicious and healthy meal. This summer we are spending a lot of time in our gardens, local orchards, and neighborhood farm stands.
Our strategy is to find a delicious, fresh, in-season ingredient, such as blueberries or strawberries, and build a meal around it. We are mastering some great foundation recipes that can take on a huge range of seasonal ingredients. Salads, omelets, quiches, crepes, muffins, and stir-fries – they are great canvases for our local bounty whether it is spinach, tomatoes, corn, the list goes on.
This week, our menu includes this summery strawberry, spinach salad. It’s a refreshing mix of balanced sweet, salty, crunchy, and savory. The dressing really takes this salad to another level. Making your own dressing from scratch can be simple, and the flavors far exceed anything I’ve ever tasted from a supermarket aisle.
Basically I mix together spinach, strawberries, avocado, cheese, almonds, and red onion. Then I toss with a homemade poppyseed vinaigrette dressing. You can prepare the veggies and fruits to your liking. My tip is to prepare the dressing the evening or morning prior because the flavors really intensify with time.
Other tips from my successes (and failures,) give the strawberries time to properly dry after washing. Put the avocados in last to lessen their exposure and browning. Goat cheese is milder and less salty than blue cheeses but today I used Cotija Cheese- a strong, salty flavor! Keep a close eye if you are toasting almonds, they can go from browning to burnt in mere moments.
Here is the recipe!
Have fun, and enjoy putting your own imprint upon it.
- 6 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1-pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
- 4 ounces crumbled cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- Half of a small red onion, thinly sliced
POPPYSEED DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper