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Last updated on June 7th, 2024 at 04:19 am

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Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe [video]

Of all the summer salads I like to make for my family, this strawberry spinach salad is their favorite. With sweet strawberries, crispy fresh spinach, creamy diced avocado, and tangy radish rounds mixed with sweet cherry tomatoes, crunchy pine nuts, and soft, mild feta cheese, you get an incredible mouthful of different flavors in every forkful. The homemade dressing is tangy and sweet, too, with grape vinegar, lemon, garlic, and oregano.

Summer is my favorite time to make salads because everything seems to get ripe simultaneously. If you grow a garden, you may notice that your strawberries, spinach, radishes, tomatoes, and onions peak around the beginning and middle of summer. That makes it the perfect time to mix them all together for an incredible salad everyone will love.

It can be hard to get some kids to eat salads. But with the strawberries and avocados mixed in, my kids cannot resist. My little one loves to eat all the cherry tomatoes first and then work her way through the rest of the veggies one at a time. Sure, I mix them together, but she likes to enjoy hers one flavor at a time.

With or without the dressing, this strawberry spinach salad is impressive and full of great taste. But the dressing is what I really like the most. It has my favorite flavors, including lemon, grape vinegar, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and poppy seeds. I cannot get enough of it.

The secret to this dish is to pick the fresh and just-ripe strawberries, and the rest is simple. Just toss the ingredients together, and you have one healthy, and delicious side dish. It is perfect for a barbecue party, and it goes well pretty much with any main meal. 

Why you will love this recipe

  • It is so healthy: As long as you don’t tell the kids, they won’t know. But you will certainly feel great about serving them such a healthy dish.
  • Vibrant colors: Although your food does not have to be attractive to taste good, it sure does help. This one has vibrant green spinach mixed with several shades of red in the strawberries, tomatoes, and radishes, as well as yellow pine nuts and avocados.
  • It is easy to make: I always try for fast and easy when it comes to summer meals. Once the weather gets warm, we are always going somewhere, whether it is to the beach, the park, or backyard barbecues. So, being able to toss this together in minutes is perfect.
  • Filling as it is: You don’t have to add many other things to this salad to make it hearty. With the meaty avocados, juicy tomatoes, sweet strawberries, and chewy pine nuts, this salad already has it all.

What you’ll need to make strawberry spinach salad

Special items:

  • Bowls – A small one for the dressing and a large one for the salad.
  • Salad tongs – Easier for tossing and serving than using a fork.
  • Sharp knife – For slicing the veggies and fruit.

Salad ingredients:

  • Spinach – I always get organic vegetables and fruits and try to get them at the farmers’ market as often as possible. When eaten raw, spinach is slightly sweet and mild with an earthy refreshing taste.
  • Strawberries – My absolute favorite fruit, strawberries can range from extra sweet to a little bit sour, depending on the type and how ripe they are. With a flavor profile of more than 300 compounds, it is hard to determine what your tongue is going to decide when sinking your teeth into a strawberry.
  • Onion – I prefer red onions in my salads because they are sweet with a kick of spiciness that adds a vibrant flavor to everything they touch. You can use whatever kind of onion you like.
  • Radishes – Zesty, crisp, and pungent is how I would describe radishes. They can be very spicy, depending on the variety and how ripe they are. Be sure to taste them before adding them to your salad to make sure they are the right amount of spiciness for you.
  • Tomatoes – I prefer cherry tomatoes for this salad, cut in half, because they are bite-sized and easy to prepare.
  • Avocado – You either love it or hate it. The rich nutty and buttery flavor can be delicious to some while being gross to others. Just make sure you have a ripe one or your salad can end up bitter.
  • Pine nuts – People have been eating pine nuts from stone pine trees for more than 5,000 years. It has taken many of us that many years to realize that they are not just delicious but also healthy.
  • Feta cheese – With a milky and creamy texture, this salty and almost spicy cheese is sometimes tangy and often sour but always buttery and delicious. Perfect for topping this complex salad.

Dressing ingredients:

  • Olive oil – I only use extra virgin olive oil in my salads because it is nice and light. I do not like heavy oils on my raw vegetables and fruits. However, you can use whatever kind you prefer.
  • Grape vinegar – It may not be as well-known as other kinds of vinegar, but it certainly should be. It has a fruity but mild flavor that actually tastes like grapes. Some say it is the perfect vinegar for any kind of cooking and salad dressings and I would have to agree, it is perfect for this one.
  • Lemon juice – Preferably freshly squeezed lemon juice from one medium to large lemon for the distinctive tangy flavor.
  • Lemon zest – This addition gives your salad a zing of zesty lemon taste you cannot miss.
  • Garlic – Use freshly minced garlic cloves for the freshest and most intense flavor in your salad dressing.
  • Oregano – The popular Italian herb is just spicy and zesty enough to add a peppery but sort of fruity flavor.
  • Poppy seeds – Nutty and slightly sweet, what I like best about poppy seeds is their crunchiness in this salad.
  • Salt – Just a bit of table salt to enhance the rest of the flavors in this dressing.
  • Pepper – I always use freshly ground peppercorns for the best taste. Try it, and you will always do it this way too.

How to make the strawberry spinach salad?

  1. Prep the fruit and veggies: Before you begin, rinse and drain the spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, and radishes. Then, slice the onion, radishes, and strawberries. Peel and chop the avocado into bite-sized pieces. And cut tomatoes in half. 
  2. Make the dressing: Then, combine all the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk or stir with a fork until completely mixed.
  3. Mix it all up: After, put all salad ingredients in a large bowl with the dressing and toss well. Top with crumbled feta cheese and serve immediately.

Expert tip

Picking the best spinach

Since spinach is one of the main ingredients in this salad, you want to make sure that you get the best you can find. I prefer getting organic greens from the farmers’ market in my area because I know they are the freshest. However, you can get yours from the grocery store. Just make sure you get leaves that are crisp, bright or dark green, dry, and that they have no damage like blemishes or tears.

Do not buy yellow spinach or any that is wilted or limp. And definitely pass up the slimy spinach. If it is prewashed in a bag, get a good look inside and make sure there are no yellow or brown leaves. Always check the expiration date. If you want a mild flavor, get baby spinach. The smaller leaves are more tender and have a sweeter flavor.

There are also different varieties of spinach. I prefer the baby savoy types because they keep longer and have less oxalic acid, which can upset your digestive system. Savoy spinach may look weird to you because it has bumpy leaves, but it is a lot better for those who are sensitive to oxalic acid. In many cases, you will not get a choice since most grocery stores only carry one or two different varieties.

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Another cheese: If you are not a fan of feta cheese, try ricotta or cottage cheese. For a harder cheese, shredded cheddar, mozzarella, or parmesan are great choices. Just be sure to shred your own for the best flavor.
  • Other fruits: I have added different fruits to this salad for more variety. Some of the ones I like best are raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and chopped apples or pears.
  • More vegetables: Similarly, I like adding more veggies like English cucumber rounds, chopped carrots, and broccoli florets.
  • Different greens: If you cannot find good-looking fresh spinach at your store or farmers’ market, you can substitute it with romaine, kale, arugula, swiss chard, or collard greens.
  • Add meat and beans: The best way to hearten up a salad is with meat or beans. My family likes black beans and chopped ham.

Serving suggestions:

This salad is hearty enough to be a meal, but it can also be served as an appetizer or side dish.

  • Serve the family this salad with sandwiches like my thick and juicy roast beef sandwiches.
  • Another perfect accompaniment for strawberry spinach salad is a delicious fish dinner like this brown sugar baked salmon or lemon butter tilapia.
  • Add a slice of garlic bread to this salad. It pairs well with the flavors and can help soak up the extra dressing.
  • Salads are one of my go-to dishes for picnics and barbecues. This one works well for either, it goes well with grilled fish or meat, such as grilled chicken, salmon patties, or barbecue ribs.

Frequently asked questions

What makes strawberries and spinach so healthy?

Both spinach and strawberries contain flavonoids, which are antioxidants. Scientists have recently found that they are good for decreasing cognitive deficits caused by aging. Both are also full of vitamins and minerals. Strawberries are low in calories and sugar, although they can taste like candy if you get the ripe ones. Spinach is high in iron, folate, magnesium, and beta-carotene.

Why is my salad so watery?

It could be the vegetables you used in the salad. For instance, tomatoes have a lot of juice in them, so I typically squeeze the juice out of them first. You can use the juice for other recipes or drink it. It is also important to ensure your vegetables and fruits are drained well before adding them to the salad. I recommend patting the spinach and strawberries with paper towels to prevent excess liquid.

How can I make my strawberries stay fresh longer?

One way I know to extend the life of your strawberries is to give them a bath in water and white vinegar. Add one cup of vinegar to three cups of water and soak them for 30 minutes. Then, dry them in a salad spinner and pack them in a loosely covered container in the fridge. Ensure you put a paper towel on the bottom to absorb excess moisture.

What is strawberry spinach?

Although not listed as a part of this recipe, per se, it is interesting to note that there is a type of spinach called strawberry spinach. This unique green has arrow-shaped leaves with bright red or magenta berries. The leaves are crisp and chewy, but some do not like the texture, and the taste can be slightly bitter. But it is full of vitamins, minerals, and lutein, which is a carotenoid that has anti-inflammatory properties. The berries are small but sweet and can also be added to a salad such as this one.

More easy salad recipes:

How to store:

  • Refrigerate: This salad can stay fresh in the fridge for two days but may get soggy after 24 hours. If the salad is already dressed, put it in a sealed container and hope for the best.   
  • Freezing: I would not recommend freezing this salad. 

Recipe tips:

  • Use a mandoline slicer to make thin, even slices. It also saves time.
  • Squeeze the juices from the tomatoes into a jar so your salad is not runny. Then, you can use it for sauce, salsa, or whenever you need a bit of tomato juice.
  • Grape vinegar may be hard to find. You can always get it online, though.
  • Eating poppy seeds can cause a false positive urine test for opiates. Keep that in mind. They don’t actually have opiates in them but can become contaminated by them when they are harvested.
  • Use a salad spinner to dry fruits and veggies every time. They really do work.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad is a delicious side dish made with sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, crunchy radishes, pine nuts, and creamy feta.

  • Prep Time8 MIN
  • Cook Time
  • Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 cups spinach washed and dried
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 cup radish sliced into rounds
  • 2 cups strawberries sliced
  • 1 avocado sliced or cut into chunks
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grape vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Combine Dressing ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk with a fork to combine.
  • Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Add dressing and toss to combine. Top with lots of crumbled feta cheese and serve.

Nutrition Facts

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Comments

(11)
Sandra

Sandra

Everyone at my house enjoyed this salad! A great way to enjoy strawberries!

Tisha

Tisha

This salad looks so refreshing and perfect for a hot day

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert

Such a fantastic side dish! Need to make this soon!

Beth

Beth

I love the sweet and savory flavors of this salad! I just bought some strawberries yesterday, so I made this for lunch. So good!

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