Sunday, May 26, 2024

Strawberry Summer Salad













I love summer salads.  Especially on a hot summer day and you want something light and healthy and filling.  You can add so many things to this salad but I used what I had on hand, including baby spinach, fresh strawberries and blueberries, chopped walnuts, and crunchy granola. And my poppy seed dressing is just perfect for it.  You’ll want to make this one all summer! 



Strawberry Summer Salad


Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing


2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon grated sweet onion

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/3 cup plus one tablespoon mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste





















DRESSING:   In a medium bowl, whisk vinegar, sugar, grated onion, Dijon mustard, poppy seeds, and mayonnaise. You can also add all the ingredients to a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake it to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.





















Strawberry Spinach Salad Ingredients


12 ounces baby spinach (use whatever greens you like)

1/2 lb. strawberries sliced

2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

3/4 cup feta cheese

½ cup blueberries

½ cup of granola



SALAD:   In a large wide bowl, spread greens around and then top with strawberries, walnuts, feta cheese, and granola.  Drizzle dressing and toss to coat.















Use any mixture of baby spinach, romaine, and spring greens, whatever you like.

This salad works with any fresh berries like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, or mandarin oranges, apples, or pears. 












 If more protein is desired, add grilled chicken or grilled shrimp.

If you don’t like walnuts, try other nuts like almonds or pecans.

For optimal flavor, use the brightest sweetest organic strawberries you can get your hands on, as they are the star of the show.













Don’t toss the salad until you are ready to serve, so everything stays crisp and fresh.

If feta is not your thing, then try blue cheese or crumbly goat cheese.

The dressing can be prepared up to 5 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 













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Apple Pecan Salad














You know when you go to a restaurant and order one of their salads with all the great toppings?  If you’re like me, by the time I finish my salad, all the good toppings are gone with just a bunch of lettuce left.  Sometimes, I have to dig to the bottom of the bowl to get to the good stuff that fell through.  So, I decided to create a salad full of the good stuff. I love this salad and make it often.  Candied pecans, fresh sweet apples, dried cranberries and goat cheese make this salad unique and full of flavor.   There is something about this creamy and slightly tart goat cheese paired with crisp sweet apples that makes me crazy about it. So good you don’t even need a dressing!


Apple Pecan Salad


1/2 cup glazed pecan pieces

4 cups of chopped Romaine lettuce or other mixed greens

1 large or 2 small Honey Crisp apples, cored and diced small

1/2 cup creamy Goat Cheese, crumbled

½ cup dried cranberries or cherries













Place lettuce in a serving bowl and add diced apples.  You can use your favorite “sweet” apple like Gala or Fugi.  I prefer Honey Crisp apples.  There is even a new apple that is wonderful.  

















The Ever Crisp is a newer apple that’s a cross between a Honeycrisp and a Fuji. It’s got the crispness and effervescent flavor of the Honey Crisp, but the sturdiness of the Fuji. It’s perfect to be eaten fresh, all by itself, or to be put into fresh applications like this salad. 


















Next add your pecans.  You can glaze them yourself but why bother when you can buy them already glazed and chopped.













Add the dried cranberries or dried cherries.











Finally, slice and crumble your goat cheese.  I like to mix smaller and larger chunks so that you get some in every bite.














Toss lightly, taking care to keep the apples well distributed, and transfer to individual salad plates or bowls.  Sprinkle evenly with extra goat cheese and pecans; serve.



Want a bite?

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