Spinach Strawberry Salad with Zesty Honey Vinaigrette

I love spring. So many things to love about it. My crocuses and daffodils are blooming right now. Makes me so happy to look outside and see them. Soon maybe I’ll see a few tulips if the deer don’t get to them first. They already nibbled on a few. I still haven’t gotten out to plant my spring garden yet. I’m running a bit behind this year. Our remodel project is close to being done and we’re really pushing to try to finish it in the next couple of weeks. That project has put the garden off a few weeks, but hopefully we’ll get to it soon.

One thing I love about spring are spring fruits and vegetables. Isn’t it interesting how your body is hungry for certain foods during certain times of the year? Well this time of year my body is hungry for spring salads and tender spring vegetables and fruits. Mmmmh…I love how this salad combines fruit and vegetables into an amazingly beautiful and delectable appetizer. It’s a perfect salad for my liking. Simple enough for everyday, but fancy enough to bring to a potluck or share with guests. It’s very easily adaptable too. I think it would be fabulous with raspberries, blackberries or blueberries instead of (or in addition to) strawberries. That would be wonderful for later on in the summer when those fruits are available. Add some toasted slivered or sliced almonds for a bit more crunch. Some cooked or popped quinoa sprinkled on top would be amazing. Oh and can I even mention bacon here? This is a healthy food blog, but this salad is screaming bacon bits to me (real ones of course). I may just have to try it and let you know. Or not let you know if you prefer it that way. Anyway, I kept the recipe simple here for simplicity’s sake, but feel free to dress it up to it to your heart’s

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Zesty Honey Vinaigrette
Printable Recipe

12 oz. fresh baby spinach
1 qt. fresh strawberries, sliced
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
other optional toppings (not pictured): slivered or sliced almonds, toasted; real bacon bits; cooked or popped quinoa

1/2 Cup canola oil
1/2 Cup raw honey
1-1/2 tsp. grated yellow onion
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar

Layer spinach, strawberries, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and any desired optional toppings in a large salad bowl. Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid or blender. Shake or blend until thoroughly combined. Let sit at room temperature for twenty to thirty minutes to blend flavors. Just before serving pour the dressing over the spinach and toss lightly to coat the spinach and berries.

*Note: If you don’t want to make the entire salad. Just layer a salad plate with spinach, then strawberries, then sprinkle with seeds and desired optional toppings. Then pour on desired amount of dressing and enjoy! Makes a quick and delicious lunch. 

*Note 2 (yeah a lot of notes I know…): An easy way to make this would be to make the dressing ahead of time. If it’s several hours early (or a few days), just refrigerate the dressing after making. Then 20-30 minutes before serving allow the dressing to come to room temperature before serving.

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