I love days like today when the weather in Seattle is perfectly perfect. Warm temperatures, blue skies, and not a care in the world except for the dilemma of what to eat for dinner. I decided to make a spinach strawberry salad as the main dish. I’ve had a love affair with this salad ever since I had at bridal shower 15 years ago. The combination of sweet and tangy poppy seed dressing on torn spinach is the perfect dish to serve as a light and refreshing meal in itself or for potlucks, showers, and entertaining. This salad always disappears first and is one of my most requested recipes by those who try it.
It’s not only a beautiful salad with poppy seeds and strawberries but a healthy one. Spinach is an awesome source of vitamin C as well as a powerful antioxidant and considered a “Super Food”. Strawberries are also a great source of vitamin C, K, B5, B6, folic acid, potassium, omega -3 fatty acids, and many more.
Everything you need to make this salad is already likely in your refrigerator and cupboards. Make sure you prepare the poppy seed dressing before starting to give it time to settle and come together. And for parents out there whose kids hate salad, this may be the salad that wins them over. Enjoy!
Strawberries and Spinach Salad Recipe:
1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar
2/3 cup of olive oil (vegetable oil can be substituted)
1/2 cup white sugar or Splenda equivalent for Low-Carb Diets
2 tbs. of poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. of paprika
2 tbs. of minced onion
2 tbs. of roasted and toasted sesame seeds
2 bunches of spinach, washed, dried, and torn in pieced
2-3 cups of strawberries, sliced with stems removed
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup of slivered almonds, crunchy chow mein noodles, or minced bacon pieces.
Using an immersion hand blender, blender or a whisk, combine vinegar, oil, sugar, poppy seeds, paprika, and onion until sugar is dissolved. Place dressing in the refrigerator. To toast sesame seeds, place the seeds in an un-oiled small skillet on medium heat. Stir every 30 seconds until seeds start browning and popping. Remove from heat and set aside.
Slice washed and stemmed strawberries and place in a small bowl. Chill in the refrigerator.
In a large bowl toss torn spinach leaves, strawberries, sesame seeds, and poppy seed dressing. Serve immediately. Enjoy!