The strawberry season began in June and we have a delicious strawberry spinach salad to celebrate. While strawberries are now available all year they can be tasteless and hard - and expensive. Buying strawberries in their season means that they will be at the height of tastiness and nutritional value and a good economical value as well.
The three major components of our simple but delicious salad are strawberries, spinach, and almonds. Strawberries are a good source of Vitamin C as well as magnesium, folate and fiber. Look for berries that are firm and unbruised with color all the way up to the shoulders of the berry. Keep them in a cool, dry place and don't wash the berries until just before using them - water will speed the deterioration of the berries.
Spinach is a nutritional playground! It has a high concentration of iron, calcium, niacin, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. It also is a good source of fiber and protein. Spinach, like other leafy green, should be an integral part of everyone's diet.
Spinach is at its best in the cooler months. Once the searing, dry heat of late summer arrives it bolts and becomes bitter. Enjoy it now while the flavor is delicate and the leaves are tender.
Almonds add protein, fiber, and many essential vitamins and minerals. Just as important, they add flavor and crunch to the salad. The crunchy sweet nuts are delicious in so many different salads. The quick method of adding a sugar coating is sure to become a favorite. It is fast and easy to do. The nuts keep well in an air tight container.
Turn this into a nice, light main dish with the addition of a protein. Salmon, chicken, shrimp, blue cheese, and feta cheese all complement the flavors well.
Strawberry Spinach SaladDressing:
- 4 - 6 strawberries
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 10 oz cups baby spinach (about 4- 5 cups)
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup toasted or sugared almonds
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 2 TBS sugar
- Place the nuts in a small sauté pan and sprinkle with the sugar.
- Heat over medium, stirring frequently, until the sugar has melted and the nuts are a golden brown.
- Remove from the heat and cool completely.
- Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor to a fine pulp.
- Add the vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper.
- Mix to blend.
- Add the olive oil and blend well.
- Mix the spinach and sliced strawberries. S
- eason with salt and pepper, then toss with the strawberry dressing.
- Use only as much dressing as needed to lightly coat the salad.
- Sprinkle with the candied almonds.
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