Tuesday, May 4, 2010

at long last: sweet spring bounty

While it has -technically- been spring here in New England for the last month and a half, we have finally started experiencing that warm, sunny weather in more recent weeks... which means, we're just now getting a taste of all that wonderful spring produce that many of you in warmer climates have been enjoying for the past month. I was pleasantly surprised to find artichokes! and asparagus! and rhubarb! as I shopped for groceries last weekend, and it was a welcome sight. To celebrate, I made good use of some of this late spring bounty (and a strawberry sale!) with a nostalgic sweet spring salad.

Strawberries with spinach? Yes. An odd combination, I know. I remember trying this salad for the first time as a tween and being utterly horrified at first... and utterly wowed at the fact that leafy greens and juicy fruit make such a wonderful pair. The sweet poppy dressing marries these two ingredients so nicely, and really makes this a stand-out salad. It makes a fresh and interesting side dish for any warm-weather meal, and can hold its own as a light-but-delicious lunch.

Strawberry-Spinach Salad
with Sweet Poppy Dressing

{adapted from AllRecipes}

Serves: 4


For the salad:
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed, dried & torn into bite-size pieces (I just used baby spinach)
  • 1 quart of fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped or slivered
For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 2 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled/finely chopped (optional)
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until combined. Cover and chill for one hour.

2. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and toasted almonds. Drizzle dressing over salad, and toss to coat. (It was recommended in the original recipe that the dressed salad be chilled for 10 minutes before serving but, I found this step unneccessary... and kinda gross.)

I'm thinking that adding some grilled chicken - perhaps glazed with a bit of that fantastic poppy dressing - would make an amazing summertime dinner with this salad. Further experimentation is needed. x


  1. Yum! I'm hoping the farmers market tomorrow will have some strawberries. I haven't had this salad in YEARS and now NEED to try the dressing. Per ushe - drooool.

  2. oooh I *love* farmers markets! the local ones will be open this month and I can't wait!

  3. Is there anyone out there who doesn't absolutely ADORE strawberries? I'm no exception. Especially in a salad. I don't believe it's an odd combination at all. I would add a little fresh goat's cheese to this and call it dinner!

  4. Oh! Goat cheese! Inspired!

  5. mmmm goat cheese would be fantastic with this! great idea! x