This is a great light side dish to accompany summer BBQs and dinners. Take advantage of the wonderful fresh strawberries on sale everywhere these days. I prefer the baby spinach in this salad but a mix of baby greens or a mix other lettuces work equally as well. Don't skip the candied pecans - they add a sweet crunch that really makes this salad special. I used chopped pecans because I had them on hand but pecan halves make for a prettier presentation in my opinion.
I like to use a honey mustard vinaigrette for this salad, I think it goes really well with the fruit. Some other good choices would be poppy seed dressing, raspberry vinaigrette or balsamic vinaigrette.
Strawberry Summer Salad
1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
4 cups baby spinach or other mixed greens
1/4 - 1/2 cup pecans
1 T brown sugar
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 scallions, chopped
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add oil and sugar and stir to combine. Add nuts and toss to coat. Cook about five minutes and transfer to parchment paper, separate nuts with a fork and cool. Wash and dry greens and add to a large bowl and toss gently with remaining ingredients and add dressing.
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from Leslie Sarna
1 clove garlic, grated
2 T whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsp honey
Scant 1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine garlic, mustard, vinegar and honey and whisk to incorporate. While mixing, slowly stream in olive oil. Whisk vigorously until dressing is emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.