Refreshing Strawberry Spinach Salad

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This is one of my favorite salads. I usually make it during the late spring months when we have loads of strawberries ripe for the picking. However, a couple of weeks ago, I went to a holiday party and brought this salad along. I knew there would be lots of rich desserts, heavy side dishes, and sweet holiday beverages so I wanted to bring along something light and flavorful. The green and red of the spinach and strawberry mix certainly made the salad look festive. Surprisingly, the strawberries were sweet and juicy. Our grocer’s winter berry selection is usually flavorless and strawberries often have a firm, rock-like texture. I expected to have to sweeten up the berries with a small sprinkle of sugar before adding them to the salad. To my surprise, they were perfect in every way. I was also pleased that I didn’t have to part with a small fortune when purchasing the berries. They were quite reasonably priced so I made sure to buy a load of them.
For a dramatic presentation, I often mix the salad in a clear, deep bowl to show off the beautiful colors within the mix. The deep green of the spinach, and rosy red of the strawberries glisten under the glaze of dressing. Flecks of black and beige (from the addition of poppy and sesame seeds) make the salad look quite appetizing.
While the winter temperatures are down-right bone chilling and the snow continues to fall, I long for the warm sunny days of spring and summer when fresh produce is abundant and flavorful summer salads are a welcome part of the everyday meal.

Strawberry and Spinach Salad

1 large bag, pre-packaged baby spinach, stems removed
4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Just before serving, pour over the salad and toss to coat.

A good trick when traveling with this salad:
Slice the strawberries and place them at the bottom of the bowl. Then, lightly add clean, prepped spinach and cover the bowl with clear plastic wrap. Carry the dressing in a jelly jar or lidded plastic container. After reaching your destination, give the salad a toss and add the dressing, distributing everything evenly.

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17 thoughts on “Refreshing Strawberry Spinach Salad

  1. We have spinach and strawberries in abundance at the moment (not meaning to rub it in!) so this recipe is so timely. Yummmy! Can’t wait to put it all together. Your strawberry and spinach days will be here before you know it! Hang in there! xoxoxox

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  2. Linda – Just the type of dish I bring to a party! Something healthy but flavorful – and with a fruit and vegetable. πŸ™‚ I will give this a try tonight. I don’t have spinach – just Spring mix and arugula, but hopefully they will do. Beautiful colors – and I love the duo of seeds. Oh, and did you know that the vitamin C in the strawberries significantly helps you to absorb the non-heme iron in the spinach? πŸ™‚ Have a great day – Shanna

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    • I’m sure your spring mix will work beautifully! If you don’t have strawberries on hand, I’ve used a variety of citrus fruit and colorful berries. Cantaloupe works well too. This is truly one of my favorites. Thanks for the tip about pairing vitamin C with iron for efficient absorption. I often add slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, or dried cranberries. Really a great way to add extra goodness to the meal! Hope all is well with you, Shanna… I’m going to head over to your site to see what you’ve been up to!

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      • Hi, Linda. I did end up making the dish last night with a mix of the arugula and Spring mix. I used the strawberries we had on hand and threw in a Valencia orange and Turkish Tema figs. Funny – I instinctively threw in some roasted walnuts, as well. Great minds think alike. My husband had eaten hospital food (not really food, in my humble opinion) for lunch and was thrilled to see a huge salad to accompany our meal. As for blogging – I have been doing more cooking and lassoing of my sweet baby horses (figuratively speaking) and hosting company than blogging lately. I need a bit of inspiration and more time than I have. Take good care! Shanna

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