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When it comes to warm weather salads, it's hard to beat Spinach Strawberry Walnut Salad. A complex blend of sweet, salty, nutty flavors finished with a fresh strawberry dressing, it's the perfect spring or summer salad.
Remember when salads were an afterthought, often overdone with heavy salad dressings? Times have changed, thank goodness. Today salad options are endless and are often the focus of a meal. Though this summer strawberry salad (with fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette) makes a wonderful side dish for heartier meals, it stands alone beautifully for a summer dinner al fresco with a chilled glass of white wine or rosé.
Spinach Strawberry Walnut Salad Ingredients
- Baby Spinach: Convenient and time-saving to buy pre-washed.
- Fresh Strawberries: Look for ripe, vibrant red, sweet strawberries. (Strawberries don't continue to ripen once they're picked.) If you can't find ripe strawberries, swap in fresh blueberries and blueberry preserves for another perfect summer salad option.
- Walnuts: raw or lightly toasted walnut halves or pieces
- Feta Cheese: Goat cheese would also be delicious
- Vinegar: Red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar are all good options. (Red wine vinegar is best for color.)
- Strawberry Preserves: or strawberry jam
- Shallot: A small wedge of sweet red onion is also an option.
- Honey: or maple syrup
- Olive Oil: good quality, extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Here you'll crown fresh baby spinach leaves with slices of fresh, sweet strawberries, creamy crumbled feta cheese, to lend a creamy note and enticing saltiness, and a handful of chopped walnuts to add a crunch. A drizzle of fresh strawberry vinaigrette pulls all of the flavors together.
And the best part? This strawberry spinach salad is ready in less than fifteen minutes, including prep work.
Makes a Perfect Complement to:
- Grilled Lamb Chops (Less than 30 minutes to make.)
- Carne Asada (A citrus trifecta makes this juicy grilled steak stand apart from others like it.)
- Spicy Grilled Shrimp (Super fast, wildly delicious and just 5 ingredients plus salt and pepper.)
- Grilled Cauliflower Steaks (A butter finish makes these totally irresistible.)
More Must Try Salad Recipes
- Strawberry Spinach Salad (with pecans and a Balsamic Vinaigrette)
- Arugula Salad (or, heartier Arugula Apple Salad)
- Caesar Salad with the most amazing homemade Caesar Dressing
Spinach Strawberry Walnut Salad
For the Dressing:
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 small shallot coarsely chopped
- 1 cup fresh strawberries stemmed and quartered
- 1 tablespoon strawberry preserves
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Salad:
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 2 ounces walnuts coarsely chopped
- 3 ounces crumbled goat cheese or feta
- 8 ounces strawberries quartered
For the Dressing:
- Add red wine vinegar, shallot, strawberries, strawberry preserves and honey to a blender pitcher; blend until smooth. With blender running, add olive oil in a steady stream; blend until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the Salad:
- Add spinach to a large salad bowl and drizzle with just enough dressing to coat lightly (see recipe note); gently toss to coat. Sprinkle dressed spinach evenly with strawberries, walnuts, and goat cheese; drizzle with desired amount of dressing and serve.
- Dressing the spinach and toppings separately mean that the toppings don't end up on the bottom of the salad bowl. Take care not to overdress the spinach since you'll be drizzling the salad with dressing after you add the toppings.
- This recipe makes ample dressing and you'll likely have some leftover. Enjoy within one week.