Best Ever Strawberry Spinach Salad

Best Ever Strawberry Spinach Salad 
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.
We celebrated the holidays with my husbands family as we usually do this past Christmas. There is always an amazing spread of decadent food, but I have to admit I really look forward to the salads.
Chad is not a big salad eater so I don't usually make fancy salads unless we are having a party or company.
I tend to grab whatever I have in the house and put together a simple salad that will keep for a long time because I am the only one eating it.
But, I just really love a good salad. A few years ago Chad's sister prepared a fabulous salad that really knocked my socks off.
It was spinach salad with blueberries, avocado and a sun-dried tomato dressing. I am sure there were other ingredients but those really stuck with me.
I must have eaten 4 bowls of it and wished there was more.
So, of course this spring when I started craving strawberry spinach salad all I could think of was how amazing it would be if I added blueberries and avocado.
So, I did and it really sparked up my salad.
The buttery avocado and bright blueberry flavors added so much to this new favorite but I felt like I really still needed something to make it perfect.
I started thinking about crunch and cheese and remembered this one restaurant that we have been to a few times makes this a salad with blue cheese and candied pecans that I absolutely love. That was it!
The very next day I decided to put it together.
This divine recipe all starts with baby spinach and fresh summer berries. Thinly sliced red onions are added to enhance the flavor.
Then it is tossed in a fabulous sweet and tangy vinaigrette and topped with fresh avocado, buttery candied pecans and melt in your mouth blue cheese.
This spinach salad is so summery and refreshing. It is truly my favorite salad of all time and I can not stop eating it and you are going to love it too!.
See how easy this Best Ever Strawberry Spinach Salad is to make. 

Yield: 6 Servings
Author: Donna ElickPrint Recipe
BEST EVER STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD
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.
PREP TIME: 25 MINS
COOK TIME: 5 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 30 MINS

INGREDIENTS
Candied Pecans
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • pinch salt
Dressing
  • 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
Salad
  • 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
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place a silpat mat or a sheet of parchment paper on the counter top to dry the pecans.
  2. 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.
  3. Spread onto silpat or parchment paper. Separate pecans. Allow to cool.
  4. Meanwhile: in a pint size mason jar combine dressing ingredients. Seal and shake until well combined. Set aside on the counter.
  5. 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.
  6. Refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving (or serve immediately).
  7. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side. Enjoy!
DONNA'S NOTES:
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.
http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2016/05/best-ever-strawberry-spinach-salad-recipe.html
Recipe developed by Donna Elick The Slow Roasted Italian
Copyright ©2016 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.

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