Strawberry Spinach Salad

I mentioned on Monday that this salad comes from my sister-in-law Stephanie.  She used to make it in my post-marriage, pre-reproductive years, which was also the time when I first discovered this total cooking obsession that has kind of taken over my life in the best way possible.  This salad was my first venture into the world of “foodie-ness”–it was not the typical bowl of chopped iceberg and shredded carrots with a bottle of ranch that you so often see at family dinners.  It was so simple and yet so incredible–juicy, fresh strawberries in season, crisp cucumbers, tender spinach, and the intensity of toasted almonds combined with the freshness of the Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette totally opened up all these doors for me.

Whenever I’m at Sam’s Club (or Costco, when we lived by one) in March and April and those giant clamshell containers of giant strawberries that are, like, $1 a pound are staring at me, I seriously feel guilty not buying some–it’s almost like puppies in the Walmart parking lot on a Saturday.  Since two pounds of strawberries are a considerably smaller commitment than a puppy (and better for my mental health), I usually just buy them.  Then I make jam.  And strawberry sauce.  And salads.  Like this one.

You’ll need a bag of spinach,

sliced fresh strawberries, red onion, and cucumbers (peeled or un-peeled, whatever your preference)…

Toasted almonds (just heat them in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they’re golden and fragrant)…

and one recipe of the Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette.  If you want to add a little more protein to serve as a meal, you can also add strips of grilled chicken.

This next part is super hard.  You can arrange all the ingredients on individual plates…

or you can just shake everything together and let people serve themselves.   Either way is delicious and easy…

and a great way to use all the fresh ingredients that are starting to become available.

(Well, fresh except for that chicken, which, unless you’re in Portland and are friends with Fred Armisen, probably came from the freezer). Thank you, Brent, for sharing the wonder of Portlandia with us).

60 comments

  1. This looks delicious. I’m always looking for salads that are different from the norm of iceburg and ranch (not there’s anything wrong with that sort of salad, of course!).

  2. I have had a salad similar to this but added crumbled gorgonzola cheese. Kicks it up a few more notches. YUMMO!!

  3. Ok. Seriously? That Hulu video??? Made my day. And I love this salad. My husband is obsessed with spinach salads lately (weird I know) so I’m sure I’ll be making this soon!! Thank again guys!

    p.s Oh and this is the girl from the bountiful book signing who came in with her mom and baby who “never” comments. I commented finally! I’ll try and make it a normal thing now.:)

  4. Oh and I know this is probably a bazaar question, but do you know what the font names are of the fonts you used for your site? I love ’em.

  5. Sounds yummy – I just bought some of the strawberries you mentioned last weekend and they are almost gone! Just enough left for my yogurt parfait at lunch. I’ll just have to buy some more this weekend 🙂

  6. Salad looks wonderful. The video is priceless, had to watch their other antics and forwarded to all my Oregon friends.

  7. Love that video too. Hilarious! And thanks for a written-down version of this salad. It never comes out for me the same way every time, but one of my favorites! And good reminder about the strawberries at Costco. I’ll have to go get some for Peter’s birthday.

  8. What a coincidence! I was just finishing up my last bit of spinach-strawberry-red onion-cucumber-honey poppyseed salad when I clicked on your blog for this post! I put feta cheese on mine – nice contrast with the sweet strawberries and honey poppyseed dressing. Also, I didn’t have chicken, so I tossed on some chopped steak. That’s why I love this salad; it’s so versatile!

  9. I LOVE to add some shredded swiss cheese and mushrooms. I like dried cranberries too…the more sweet the better 😉 I sometimes go as far as sugar coating my almonds too! delish! thanks for sharing! I need to go get the ingredients and make this, soon…very, very soon!

  10. We have been eating this same salad with a variety of dressings for about a decade or so and we just love it. It is a staple now and our kids ask for it frequently. I am the same way about the strawberries at Costco, too – it seems a shame NOT to buy them!

  11. I made this tonight for dinner and it’s as delicious as it looks, maybe even more so … it has that wonderful fresh taste of the *Promise of Spring*. The dressing really polishes it off.
    Thank You so much, love it! Also made the spinach chicken stromboli from your cookbook today too … also super-great, the flavors layer up so tasty and simple.

  12. Oh my gosh this is soooo like a salad they make at the MTC when they train the mission presidents and have the General Authorities down. It’s soooo good! Now I’m craving it. Yum! 🙂

    1. Hey I know exactly what you are talking about Adrienne. I worked there too. When did you work there?

  13. This has always been one of my favorite salads and now that strawberries are coming in season, we’ll be having if often.

  14. I know it’s technically Spring…and this salad is one of my favorites, but I need a day where it’s above 60 degrees farenheit in order to truly enjoy this salad.

  15. Due to interest in your cookbook, I found your blog! It is wonderful! Thank you both for being amazing!!!

  16. Made this for dinner last night and it was sooooo yummy. I usually make a similar salad with a strawberry cream dressing, but I liked the lemon dressing too!

  17. IVE NEVER POSTED, BUT READ YOUR BLOG OFTEN. AS I READ THIS POST, DOOLING, I COMMENTED IN MY HEAD ABOUT THE GRILL STRIPES ON YOUR CHICKEN LOOKING FAKE, THEN CONTINUED READING. BEING THAT I AM FROM PORTLAND, OREGON I COULDNT STOP LAUGHING WHEN I GOT TO THE END. I GUESS WE ARE JUST CONDITIONED HERE TO EAT FRESH AND LOCAL WHEN POSSIBLE. TEEHEE. PORTLANDIA REALLY MAKES FOR A GREAT LAUGH, AS SOME PEOPLE ARE A BIT OVER THE TOP. ANYWAY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR WONDERFUL BLOG. YOU SHOULD VISIT PORTLAND, IT WILL ROCK YOUR WORLD, FROM A FOODIE ASPECT.

  18. Mmmmm, I made this for dinner last night with some leftover beer can chicken I had made earlier in the week along with the Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette. DELICIOUS! I am looking forward to having it again for lunch today.

  19. Just made this salad and became a huge fan!!! Thanks ladies for the great recipe….keep em comin!!! I know I’ll be eating a lot of this with the warm weather coming!

  20. I am having a big dinner group of about 45 people Sunday. We are serving this yummy grilled pork tenderloin, pineapple soufflé a roll and ??? Do you have any recommendation for a salad that would go well with this combination? I need some color on the plate since right now everything is yellow brownish. Any ideas? Would it be bad to do a salad with a sweet dressing when you have the pineapple rice dish? Hope you can help. Thanks so much.

  21. This salad is honestly THE BEST salad I’ve EVER had! Thank You so much for sharing the recipe! I would have never thought strawberries would taste so yummy in a salad like that…it was amazing!

  22. I made this for dinner tonight – YUM! Absolutely loved it. I asked my husband if it’s a ‘make again’ and he said ‘You’d better be making this a lot!’ Thanks!

  23. Kate, I wanted to let you know I swapped the garbanzo beans for the chicken per your suggestion and it worked perfectly!! Thanks for leading me in the right direction 🙂

  24. I actually make a salad kind of like this once, but I just kind of winged it. I can’t wait to try your recipe! What could be better than spinach, fresh strawberries, grilled chicken and lemon poppy seed dressing???

  25. I took this salad and Lemon Viniagrette to a Memorial Dey BBQ and it was excellent. I added avacados as with this group, avacados are a must. The dressing was perfect.

  26. I made this salad along with the lemon vinaigrette last week and it was very yummy. I added kiwi and avocado slices since both were on sale and it was delicious. Love the vinaigrette, very tasty!

  27. I made this salad tonight for our Tri-tip BBQ dinner and it was DELICIOUS! I added an avocado since I had one I needed to use and it was a yummy addition. The dressing is easy and a perfect conpliment to the other ingredients. Thank you for your wonderful, easy, real food recipes and keep doing what your doing… I love you guys!

  28. Just wanted to let you guys know that I made this at a dinner party last night (of course with the lemon poppyseed dressing) and it was a hit! Good, good stuff. Thanks!

  29. OK, so I know this is an old post, so I hope you get this. How do you make your grilled chicken look so good? I just got a cast iron grill for the stove top and was so excited to actually grill all the meats that your recipes suggest. However, mine always come out darker and black where the grill marks are. What is your secret to getting it “golden brown” if you will? I use a meat thermometer, I’m terrified of it being raw, but by the time it’s up to 165 degrees, my already dead chicken looks even more dead. HELP! :0) thanks so much! You guys are the best.

  30. Love this salad! I didn’t have cucumber so I substituted celery–fabulous crunch. Thanks for the yummy recipes.

  31. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was once a amusement account it. Glance complicated to more added agreeable from you! However, how could we keep up a correspondence?

  32. This was so light a refreshing…..a perfect summer salad. I always have lemons in my refrigerator, so I’m sure this will become a standard for us now!

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