This easy spring salad will keep you wanting more during those first few months of warm weather!
Mother nature knows exactly when to liven up to give us hope…just what we need after long winters. We see it in the food available to us…this is one of my favorite seasons for fruits & vegetables. The first few things to come up in my garden are lettuces, strawberries, mint & asparagus. All some of my top players in salads and desserts!
I recommend that you make your own dressings- not only for this dish but for every other salad. It’s fairly simple and there are endless options. A few things to remember- 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, the longer you whisk or blend your dressing the better they hold. Longer whisking creates a emulsification meaning, they will become stable and the oil will not “break” or separate. The key to this salad is using the freshest ingredients available (during their peak season) and making your own dressing.
6 oz bag baby spinach- or baby mixed greens
3/4 cup raw almonds, sliced
1 cup fresh strawberries, thin slice
2 Persian or 1 large English cucumber, thin slice
To taste fresh ground pepper
As needed berry vinaigrette
Optional- crumbled feta cheese
- Wash spinach and strawberries
- Slice strawberries & cucumbers
- In large mixing bowl combine spinach, almonds, strawberries, & cucumbers
- Top with crumbled feta cheese and homemade berry balsamic vinaigrette
CHEF’S TIPS & TRICKS
- Blueberries work just as good!
- I love powering this salad up with some white quinoa- adding a complete protein to the meal.
Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon and 1 1/2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup fresh raspberries or strawberries
3/4 cup olive oil
To taste sugar, salt, & pepper
- Add balsamic & strawberries in a blender or using a immersion blender
- Blend until strawberries are broken down
- Slowly add in olive oil until it is incorporated
- Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, & sugar
CHEF’S TIPS & TRICKS
- You shouldn’t have to use sugar if the berries are perfectly ripe -in the right season!
- You can use regular balsamic to achieve a darker color pink