One hopeful thing I have noticed during this strange new time is that Spring has just kept on going. With new found time on my hands, I have been spending some each day to walk around my neighborhood. While many have transitioned to new styles of working, the seasons continue to do their jobs as they always have. You can see this in the streets adorned with cherry blossom petals as the leaves are turning in to summer trees.
Additionally, springtime deserves credit for being the main reason we have food to nurture ourselves with. As I was deciding what dish embodied this to me, my mind was fixated on a bright spinach and strawberry salad. Spinach has to win as my favorite salad green and luckily it is in it’s prime this time of year. The other star of this show is none other than fresh, local strawberries. These add an unmatched sweetness to the bite of this salad. Toss in some tangy spring onions, salty cheese, and any kind of crunchy nut or seed that you can find and you’ve got yourself a real tasty dish. As for the nuts, don’t feel discouraged if you don’t have sliced almonds. Use chopped cashews, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, even a little trail mix if that’s all you have to add a dynamic crunch and flavor.
With all of this local produce at our hands, we are able to create a winning course for the dinner table. This is a great way to switch up your use of strawberries for something more savory. Also, it has been rumored that these sweet salads have gotten children to eat their greens. Try it for yourself to find out!
- 1/2 quart of strawberries (sliced in quarters)
- 1/4 lb of spinach
- 1 handful of seeds or chopped/sliced nuts (I used sliced almonds)
- 1 spring onion (whites, thinly sliced)
- 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese or shaved Parmesan (optional)
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- For the balsamic reduction, add balsamic vinegar to a pot and bring to a boil on medium high heat. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thickened to liking. Use a metal spoon to check the consistency by dipping in to see how it is coated.
- Remove the stems of the strawberries and place it with it’s now flat end down. Slice down vertically one way and another time across it to create even quartered slices.
- Prep your nuts/seeds, spring onions, and cheese.
- In a large bowl, add your spinach. Drizzle a light amount of olive oil and briefly toss with spinach. Add in the strawberries, spring onions and nuts. Finish by topping with cheese of choice and a healthy drizzle of balsamic reduction.