When it comes to summer salads, the combination of strawberries and spinach is a match made in culinary heaven. The sweet and juicy strawberries complement the earthy and tender spinach leaves, creating a delightful blend of flavors.
Tossed together with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette, this salad becomes a refreshing and nutritious option for any occasion.
To create this delectable salad, you will need the following ingredients:
- Fresh baby spinach leaves: The base of this salad, baby spinach leaves offer a delicate and tender texture along with a mild earthy flavor. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a healthy choice.
- Ripe strawberries: Choose plump and juicy strawberries for the perfect burst of sweetness. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and add a vibrant pop of color to the salad.
- Red onion: Thinly sliced red onion provides a subtle kick and a touch of mild spiciness. It adds depth of flavor and complements the sweetness of the strawberries.
- Toasted almonds: Toasted almonds bring a satisfying crunch to the salad, and their nutty flavor pairs well with the other ingredients. They also offer healthy fats and protein.
- Crumbled feta cheese: Feta cheese adds a creamy and tangy element to the salad. Its saltiness balances the sweetness of the strawberries, creating a harmonious flavor profile.
- Balsamic vinaigrette: The dressing is the star of this salad. A tangy and slightly sweet balsamic vinaigrette enhances the flavors of the ingredients and ties everything together. It can be made with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, and seasonings.
Tips for Making Strawberry Spinach Salad
To elevate your Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, here are a few tips and variations:
- Add protein: To make this salad a complete meal, consider adding protein sources such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu. These additions will increase the satiety and nutritional value of the salad.
- Experiment with nuts: While toasted almonds work beautifully in this recipe, feel free to experiment with other nuts such as walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts. Different nuts can bring unique flavors and textures to the salad.
- Incorporate other fruits: While strawberries are the star of this salad, you can also include other fruits like sliced peaches, raspberries, or blueberries to add a variety of flavors and colors.
- Try different cheeses: If you’re not a fan of feta cheese, you can substitute it with crumbled goat cheese, shaved Parmesan, or even fresh mozzarella. Each cheese will impart its distinct taste and texture to the salad.
- Customize the vinaigrette: While the balsamic vinaigrette is a classic choice, feel free to experiment with other dressings. Consider a citrus vinaigrette using lemon or orange juice, or a poppy seed dressing for a slightly sweet and nutty twist.
Serving and Storage for Strawberry Spinach Salad
To serve the Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, transfer it to a platter or individual salad bowls. You can garnish it with additional sliced strawberries, toasted almonds, or a sprinkle of fresh herbs like basil or mint for an extra touch of visual appeal.
If you have leftovers, it’s best to store the salad and the dressing separately. This will prevent the salad from becoming soggy. Place the salad in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to two days. The dressing can be stored in a separate container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
When ready to enjoy the leftover salad, give the dressing a good shake and drizzle it over the salad just before serving. Toss the salad gently to ensure that all the ingredients are well coated.
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Fresh baby spinach leaves.
- Ripe strawberries
- Red onion
- Toasted almonds
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Balsamic vinaigrette
- Start by rinsing the strawberries and removing the stems. Slice them into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Rinse the baby spinach leaves thoroughly and pat them dry with a paper towel. You can tear the larger leaves into bite-sized pieces if desired.
- Thinly slice the red onion into rings or half-moons, ensuring they are thinly cut to avoid overpowering the salad. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until they turn golden and release a fragrant aroma. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
- Prepare the balsamic vinaigrette
In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper until well combined. Adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences. The dressing should have a balanced tanginess and sweetness.
- Assemble the salad
In a large salad bowl, combine the baby spinach leaves, sliced strawberries, red onion, toasted almonds, and crumbled feta cheese. Gently toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly.
- Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over the salad, starting with a small amount. Gradually add more dressing as needed, ensuring that the salad is lightly coated. Toss the salad gently to coat all the ingredients with the vinaigrette.
The Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette is a summertime delight that brings together the best of sweet and savory flavors. The combination of ripe strawberries, crisp baby spinach, tangy red onions, toasted almonds, and creamy feta cheese creates a vibrant and refreshing salad that is as visually appealing as it is delicious.
Whether you’re hosting a summer party or simply craving a light and healthy meal, this salad is a perfect choice that celebrates the flavors of the season. Grab your ingredients, prepare this delightful recipe, and indulge in the freshness and deliciousness of the Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.