The summer months means delicious local strawberries! Such a delicious fruit to enjoy on it’s own, in desserts, and in this strawberry spinach salad! I made this salad the other day for a family barbecue and it was a hit! It was a perfect accompaniment to the meal and I can’t wait for you guys to try it with the tangy dressing!
If you’re having trouble eating your greens, try eating it with the sweetness of the strawberries. You’ll have it on repeat for sure!
Why you’ll love this salad
- It sweet and tangy
- It’s fresh and full of minerals
- there’s a lot of texture from crunchy, smooth and crunchy!
- it’s the perfect accomplice to your meals or, add in some protein, and you’ve got yourself a meal!
What is in the salad?
- Greens – I used baby spinach and butter lettuce. You can definitely use any greens you prefer like spring mix and arugula.
- Strawberries – the star of the show! Feel free to sub in any other berries or fruits though depending on the season
- Vegetables – I used purple onions and cucumbers and cut them thin. You can soak or rinse the onions out to subdue the flavor if you wish.
- Dressing – I made maple syrup lemon vinaigrette
- Toppings – I made candied pecans (recipe below) but there are lots of options that you can mix and match such as vegan feta, hemp seeds, purple basil, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
How to make the dressing
In a jar, mix together:
- Lemon juice – adds the tang and freshness
- Olive oil – a must for all dressings
- Maple syrup – the perfect sweetness
- Dijon mustard – a delicious pungent taste
- Minced garlic – a burst of flavour with a kick
- Salt & pepper – ties it all together
I love the combination of the sweet and tangy from the maple syrup and lemon. Another great dressing would be a balsamic based dressing or mixed herbs vinaigrette.
Making the candied pecans
This was so easy to put together! I saw some pecan in the pantry and thought it would be the perfect crunch to this dish. In a bowl toss your pecans in some sugar and oil. I just threw them in the air fryer until they were caramelised and crispy. Alternatively, you can achieve the same results in the oven or on a frying pan.
Elevate your salad with mix ins
If pecans aren’t your thing, don’t worry! There are so many other ways to elevate your greens. Why not try:
- Cheeze: Try some crumbled vegan feta
- Nuts and seeds: You’ve got such a variety to choose from! Try hemp seeds pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Garnishes: purple basil, parsley or chopped chives are fine here too!
- Fruits: Try sliced apples, pears or mandarins if you don’t have strawberries
- Protein: like I mentioned above, try adding grilled tofu or adding a grain to make it a full meal.
Alternatives to some of the ingredients
Sometimes you just don’t want to go to the store. Here are some alternatives you can use in lieu of what the recipe lists.
- Onions: Not everyone is an onion fan, but if you don’t mind shallots they’re a good alternative! Shallots are much less intense in their flavor profile.
- Spinach: You can use kale here instead. I would gently massage the kale leaves with a little bit of salad dressing and leave it for an hour before you mix in all the other ingredients!
The combinations are endless – can’t wait to hear what you guys try!
Sometimes making the salad is the easy part and it’s the dressing that can stop us from chopping all those veggies.
A quick way to ensure you have plenty of salads throughout the week to eat is to make the salad dressing ahead of time. Pour it into a mason jar with a tight lid and store in the fridge for a week to drizzle onto your salads.
I would double the recipe and keep it stored tightly for two to three days as the strawberries would be the first to get soft and mushy. I would keep the salad dry and add the dressing when you’re reading to serve.
Other delicious salads to try
I love a good bowl of salad. There are so many great ways to elevate your bowl of greens. Here are some other recipes to try:
As always, if you try any of my recipes please let me know either in the comments below or on social media @sculptedkitchen. Thank you so much for your support!
Strawberry Spinach Salad
- 3 cups baby spinach Also butter lettuce too. Or other mixed greens
- 1 cup strawberries sliced
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cucumbers
- 1/2 cup pecans halved
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp oil neutral or vegan butter
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- hemp seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
- basil purple
- Prepare the fruits and vegetables in a large bowl and toss together
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients
- When serving, toss the salad in the dressing and top with the candied pecans, seeds, and basil
- Mix the pecans in the sugar and oil
- Air fry them at 390 F for 10 minutes, tossing them every couple of minutes to evenly caramelise
- Let cool and enjoy with your salad
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