These Best Ever Strawberry Spinach Salad will rock your world! This simple recipe is a celebration of summers bounty in the most spectacular salad you will ever eat. Fresh crisp spinach salad is taken to another level with bursts of sweetness from fresh summer fruit and buttery avocado. It is tossed in a sweet and tangy vinaigrette and topped with crunchy nuts and creamy cheese.
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup extra light tasting olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
10 ounces fresh baby spinach - rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 small red onion, sliced
1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 (5 ounce) package blue cheese crumbles
Place a silpat mat or a sheet of parchment paper on the counter top to dry the pecans.
In a small skillet over medium heat melt butter. Add pecans, sugar and salt. Stir until pecans are well coated. Stir until the sugar caramelizes, about 3-5 minutes.
Spread onto silpat or parchment paper. Separate pecans. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile: in a pint size mason jar combine dressing ingredients. Seal and shake until well combined. Set aside on the counter.
In a large bowl combine the spinach, onions, strawberries and blueberries. Pour about 1/2 of dressing over salad, and toss. Top with avocado, cheese and candied nuts. Serve remaining dressing on the side.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving (or serve immediately).
Serve with the remaining dressing on the side. Enjoy!
I love to snack on the candied pecans and they are great on ice cream so I double the candied pecan recipe and save 1/2 for later. The recipe as written will allow about 5 candied pecans per serving.
The dressing may solidify in the refrigerator. It is best to allow dressing to sit on the counter. Shake well before using.
If you are making the salad ahead. Prep the salad ingredients and refrigerate. Then dress the salad about 15 minutes before serving. This will help keep the spinach from wilting.
Mozzarella, feta or goat cheese are also amazing on this salad.
Lighten it up by subbing plain pecans for the candied ones and eliminate the sugar from the dressing.
Add sliced grilled chicken for a fabulous summer meal.