For the number of times I’ve made Strawberry Spinach Salad from Pampered Chef’s Casual Cooking, it’s hard to believe I haven’t posted it yet. It’s my favorite salad, hands down, and I serve it often for company. Plus, it’s strawberry season, so the timing on this one is just right.
To make the dressing, I combined 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds in a small Tupperware container. I put the lid on, shook the heck out of the dressing, and refrigerated it until I was ready to dress the salad.
The salad is topped with 1/4 cup of toasted sliced almonds, so I toasted them on a baking sheet in the oven at 350F while I prepped the rest of the salad ingredients. (Remove the almonds from the oven when they’re light brown and fragrant; this will probably take 5 – 10 minutes.)
The salad itself is made up of spinach, strawberries, cucumber, and red onion. I hulled and quartered 8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) of strawberries. Next, I scored the cucumber lengthwise with a zester tool in about 6 places. (This just means to peel away strips of the cucumber skin for decorative purposes. You can skip this step if you want. I use the large notch in my zester to accomplish this.) Once it was scored, I cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, removed the seeds with a spoon, and cut half of the cucumber into thin slices. (You only need half of the cucumber for this recipe, so save the other half for another use.) I also took 1/4 of a small red onion and sliced it into thin wedges (1/4 cup).
I put 1 package (5 – 6 ounces) of baby spinach in a serving bowl and topped it with the strawberries, cucumber, and red onion. I shook the dressing well, poured it over the salad, and tossed everything to coat. I finished things off with the toasted almonds.
This salad is amazing, truly. I’m not much of a salad eater and I think I could eat this one every day. (Or at least every other day. 🙂 ) The dressing is zesty and slightly sweet, and the flavor combination of the strawberries, cucumber, and red onion is wonderful. This one will stay in rotation for years to come, I’m sure.
TIPS: I often make the dressing, toast the almonds, and prep the vegetables several hours before I serve the salad. Just refrigerate all of the ingredients (except the almonds – no refrigeration necessary) in airtight containers until you’re ready to eat. Always dress salads *immediately* before serving; otherwise, you’ll end up with a soggy mess.
Recipe link: Strawberry Spinach Salad