During the summer I try not to heat up our kitchen too much to cook. I also don’t like to eat a lot of heavy and rich things when it’s 100 + degrees outside. To keep it light and refreshing, I like to eat more salads (and maybe ice cream) during the hot months. Well this salad is both light and refreshing and you don’t have to heat up your kitchen to put it together. It was also one of the things we served out my daughters birthday party to go along with our theme. (Full party post next week.) This strawberry spinach salad with lemon poppyseed dressing was loaded with delicious flavor and a crisp tangy dressing.
The two main ingredients of this salad are obviously spinach and strawberries. But you can really add anything you like to this salad and make it your own. Once I added my spinach and strawberries to the bowl, I added sliced mushrooms, purple onion, bacon, feta cheese, and sugared/candied pecans. You could take out any of the things that you don’t like and even add in things like craisins, mandarin oranges and sunflower seeds. You can put all your salad ingredients together in a big bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until it’s time to serve it. I mix the lemon poppyseed dressing up in a mason jar, put the lid on it and store it in the fridge too. I don’t add the dressing until right before it’s served.
I love pecans and thought the sweetness of the candied pecan would add a nice taste and texture to the salad. If you’ve never candied a nut before, this is how I did it. I don’t know if this is the super correct way to do it, but it worked for me. In a small sauce pan on medium low heat add 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Let it sit on the heat until sugar starts to melt/dissolve. Stir gently, coating all the nuts with the melted sugar. Once all sugar is dissolved and nuts are coated, spread out onto waxed or parchment paper and let nuts cool and sugar isn’t sticky. They will stick together and just break them apart for salad.
- For Salad:
- 1 bag baby spinach (or 2 if you want to skip next item)
- 1 bag hearts of romaine lettuce
- 1 pint strawberries cleaned, hulled and sliced
- 1 pint sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 purple onion thinly sliced
- 5-6 strips of bacon – cooked and chopped
- 1 (4 oz) container feta cheese
- candied pecans
- For Dressing:
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 TBL dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. white vinegar
- 1 tsp. poppyseeds
- In a mason jar add all ingredients for lemon poppyseed dressing.
- Seal jar with lid and shake until well combined and set aside or keep chilled until time to serve.
- In a large bowl add bag of spinach and 1/2 bag of romaine.
- Add sliced strawberries.
- Add remaining salad ingredients.
- **Add just the things you like. You could always add additional items like sunflower seeds or mandarin oranges. This salad can be changed to accommodate your taste.**
- Give dressing a good shake, pour dressing over salad and gently toss until everything is coated.
- **DO NOT add dressing until right before you serve the salad.
Doesn’t it just look so delicious! It was a great addition to our party menu. The kids picked out what they liked, but the grown ups really enjoyed it.
What do you like to eat when it’s super hot outside? A burger or a salad?
Here are some other light and refreshing meals you might like: