I love how the tender spinach goes so well with the thinly sliced onions and the oh so sweet strawberries. It is as beautiful as it is tasty.
For the Strawberry Spinach Salad:
- 3/4 cup raw pecans toast them for a little less healthy but much better taste!
- 1/2 small red onion very thinly sliced I love my mandolin for this
- 10 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 1 quart strawberries hulled thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese buy the block-style feta, not pre-crumbled; the texture is much better
For the Poppy seed Dressing:
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- If you are going to toast the pecans: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the pecans smell fragrant and the center of a pecan is tan when the pecan is broken in half. (Do not walk away from the oven in the last few minutes of cooking. This is when nuts love to burn.) Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop.
- Thinly slice the onions.
- Prepare the dressing: In small mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients—vinegar, oil, poppy seeds, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper—until well combined. (Alternatively, you can shake the ingredients together in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid).
- Assemble the salad: Place the spinach in a great big serving bowl. Add the strawberries and red onions. Drizzle about half of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat the leaves. Assess the amount of dressing. You want the spinach leaves to be nicely moistened but not swimming in dressing. Add a little more if needed to suit your preferences. Add the feta and pecans. Toss lightly to combine. Serve immediately, with extra dressing on the side as desired.
Note: You can switch up some of the ingredients and enjoy an equally delicious salad. Try replacing the pecans with pumpkins seeds for an equally delicious and healthy option, and the spinach can be replaced with arugula or a spring mix. You can replace the feta with goat cheese…the list goes on!