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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Strawberry Spinach Salad

A favorite summer salad of mine is Strawberry Spinach Salad...with poppyseed dressing...which we don't have here in Australia. Then the next best thing would be with a raspberry vinaigrette, but I haven't seen that out here either...(I don't know that I have even looked though). My mom has made this salad for a good few years now, and we all love it. But it seems adding strawberries to salads must be a Canadian thing...all our Aussie friends and family who visited Canada a few months ago thought it a little strange, but once they tried it, they loved it. Funny, since I find people eat way more salads out here, and weird ones at that, than we do in Canada. I did a little googling, and found a suitable dressing recipe, and went to work...

Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of berries.
optional: 1 scant tbsp Dijon mustard - OR LESS!
optional: poppy seeds

Salad Ingredients:
baby spinach
strawberries, chopped
red onion, chopped
nuts, such as almonds, or pecans, walnuts, whatever! Honey roasted, or plain, etc.

1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender.
2. Wash spinach. Wash and chop strawberries. Chop onions.
3. Toss spinach & onion with dressing just before serving, and top with strawberries and nuts.

Strawberry Spinach Salad; Potato Salad; Garden Salad:

* I thought the dressing was just fab on its own without the dijon. I added a full tbsp, and wish I didn't. It was a little too strong. Maybe just regular mustard would have done the job too. Next time I would omit the mustard...but it does add a bit of tang.
* You can use raspberries in the dressing as well. The original recipe called for that, but I am not a huge fan (too many years working on the berry farm), and most berries cost an arm and a leg out here (except strawberries which are $0.99 a punnet-250g- right now!). Using frozen berries would work too.
*I added poppy seeds for the look, to remind me of that wonderful poppy seed dressing I don't get to have anymore.
* Be sure to toss the salad with dressing JUST before serving. Spinach gets soggy quick.