Our daughter loves strawberries. She knows it is important to buy in-season produce, so she looks forward to strawberry season like none other. Here in Colorado the growing season is quite short, so local strawberries are not available until June—this makes me thankful for California growers who can deliver this sweet treat in early April. Fragrant strawberries bid adieu to winter, ushering in the freshness of spring and summer produce.
Spinach-Strawberry Salad is a delicious way to say hello to spring—going green (and red) never tasted so good. The sweet strawberries balance the slightly bitter spinach while the flax seed oil in the dressing gives the dish an omega-3 boost. This salad is so beautiful and easy to prepare, it can be presented in smaller bowls rather than tossed in one large bowl, with dressing applied individually. Top with grilled or blackened chicken for a refreshing main course salad, as shown.
7 cups ready-to-eat baby spinach
1/2 pint strawberries (1 cup) — sliced
3/4 cup Sweetly Spiced Crispy Pecans — or Walnuts (as shown)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons flax seed oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon orange zest — minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons fresh parsley — chopped (dried herbs can also be used)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 dash hot sauce
Prepare dressing by mixing the ingredients in a cruet or jar with a lid and shake. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Tear any large spinach leaves into bite-size pieces. Layer the spinach leaves in the bottom of a large bowl with the strawberries and nuts on top. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, and toss. Serve immediately.