Yet another salad post, but this one is so exceptionally good, my fiance could not stop raving about it and immediately asked for seconds. This salad should really be called strawberry spinach salad with candied pecans, blue cheese with a strawberry chia seed balsamic vinaigrette, but for obvious reasons I’ll go with strawberry balsamic salad. None the less this salad has a complex flavor profile that will rock your taste buds!
The candied pecans are the most time consuming part of the recipe but they are well worth the extra 20 minutes. Or you can always just buy candied pecans or use toasted pecans and save on extra sugar.
I love to experiment with salad dressings and I wanted to make this one super fresh and special. I started with fresh squeezed orange juice and add to that strawberries, chia seeds, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, whoa it’s a kick in the mouth! The chia seeds not only thicken the dressing but they also add omega 3′s, fiber and protein. If you haven’t tried chia seeds yet this is a simple way to sneak some into a meal.
Strawberries are by far my favorite fruit, I eat them all year round, but summer strawberries are the best. This salad showcases strawberries in a more savory way that will surprise you.
Strawberry Balsamic Salad
- approximately 6 strawberries, sliced( more or less to taste)
- 4 cups of baby spinach
- 1/4 cup candied pecans ( homemade or store bought)*
- 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 2 teaspoon chia seed
- 1/2 cup strawberries, tops removed
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
- Place the first four ingredients in a medium bowl and toss together.
- Take the rest of the ingredients and place in a blender or food processor, blend until combined and smooth.
- Pour salad dressing over salad and serve.
*Candied Pecans recipe
- 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup pecans
Boil sugar, salt, honey,and water in a saucepan until it reaches 242 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add vanilla and pecan. Stir to coat.
Place pecans on a lined cookie sheet. Separate pecan from on another and allow to cool 15 minutes until coating is hardened.
Keep the extra candied pecans in an airtight jar.