Sunday, July 17, 2011

Strawberry Spinach Salad

As promised, here is another delicious summer salad. You might be thinking strawberries in a salad? How weird is that. It is unusual but really good. I think it's the mixture of all the ingredients of this salad that make it so good. A bit of cheese, nuts and onion with a tangy but slightly sweet dressing. It all goes together to make a really light and refreshing salad. It's great served with a piece of fish or chicken or as a first course.

I mentioned in my last post that we were off to Kauai for vacation. It's been a week now that we've been back and it seems like forever ago. It was a really relaxing and fun vacation. Kauai is now my favorite Hawaiian island. So lush and green as you can see from the picture. This was the view from our patio. Rough, huh?

We did lots of fun stuff like kayaking, zip-lining, snorkeling - my otherwise sit behind a desk body was in shock most of the time. What's funny about Kauai are all the chickens running around. They are everywhere. I guess a few years back they had a bad storm and all the chickens got loose from their pens. The locals just forgot about them and as such, they have multiplied, quadrupled and are literally EVERYWHERE! For a last minute vacation, it was great and I highly recommend some R&R if you haven't had any for a while. It does the body and mind good!

Back to the recipe. Keep in mind if you don't like any of these ingredients do a swap for those you do like. I have used regular spring lettuce instead of spinach. I have used blue cheese, feta or goats cheese instead of Gorgonzola. I always soak the onion in ice water for about 30 minutes before I put them in the salad. This removes the really oniony smell and bite. Usually people that don't like onion will eat them this way. I used Fig Balsamic in this salad but you can use regular balsamic dressing. If you do use regular balsamic, it would be even better if you cooked it down a bit. As it condenses, it gets sweeter and thicker for a really nice drizzle over the salad. Enjoy!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

6 oz washed baby spinach (or 1 bag)
1 pint strawberries, washed and sliced
1/2 medium red onion, sliced and soaked
4 oz Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup sugar coated walnuts, chopped (I get them from Trader Joe's - just slightly sweetened - located by the other nuts)
2-3 Tablespoons Fig Balsamic Dressing
2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

In a large serving bowl, add the spinach, strawberries, and onion. Add the dressing and olive oil and mix well. Divide up among serving bowls, add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the Gorgonzola and nuts on top of each. Serves 4.


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