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Strawberry/Walnut Spinach Salad with Sweet Vinaigrette

November 7, 2010

Yo peeps!

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A few weeks ago… I made this amazingly killer Strawberry/Walnut Salad for company.

It was so good I even surprised mySELF a little bit!  Once I started eating it I almost couldn’t stop to move on to everything else on my plate.  So I thought it was a definite must to share on Pretty/Hungry.

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By the way: No recipe necessary!  I literally went to Kroger and looked at the label of a yummy-looking vinaigrette to see if my instincts were on-the-mark.  I was blown away by how basic the ingredient list was on that bottle.  So I just came home and made my own version!

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For the Salad…

Find some nice greens.

(Spinach or baby romaine or some sort of mixture is nice… but make sure the leaves are nice and dark.  No iceberg here.  Save it for your BLT.)

Slice up some strawberries and chop up a nice English cucumber (peeled please!)

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Also grab about a 3/4 C. of walnut pieces… throw them into a dry skillet and keep a close eye on them as you shake them around over medium heat.  They are BEST when toasted.  It makes them a little crunchier, a little less stale, and a LOT more flavorful.  Just watch them!  I burned mine this time fiddling with my camera and its not fun later when you’re trying to pick the black parts off of them so they’ll be edible.

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Now then… gather the following ingredients to make the

Sweet Vinaigrette

-white wine vinegar   -honey   -extra virgin olive oil

-seedless raspberry or strawberry jam   -poppy seeds   -two small shallots

-salt and pepper   -(un-pictured) sugar and lime juice


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Shallots have such a nice, delicate, oniony flavor.  Slice yours thinly into little ringlets.

Now, if you have one of these awesome large measuring cups that show measurements from the top… pull it out!   Start by pouring in 1/3 C. of white wine vinegar.  Then add in 1/4 tsp. of both pepper and salt.  Eyeball a small palmfull of poppy seeds and add those as well!

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Then spoon in a tablespoon (or so) of jam.  For color and flavor!

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Next comes the honey.  About a tablespoon.  This is some fancy-shmancey brand of “Texas Clover” honey (whatever THAT means.)  And as you can see, it was a little sugary so I wasn’t impressed.  Use whatever honey is in your good ole honey bear.

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Then slowly stream in about 2/3 C. olive oil as you whisk the dressing.  This helps you avoid the separation problem.  (Another good solution is to make this dressing in a mason jar so you can screw on the lid and shake it up!  I broke my mason jar right before making this.  Yes.  I did.)

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Now… dip your finger in and give it a taste.

Whaddya think?

I thought mine needed a little more sweetness and little more tartness.

So I added a spoonfull of sugar…

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And a few squirts of the good stuff.  (If you have fresh limes or lemons… use those.  YUM)

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Lastly… in go the shallots!  (They tend to make whisking difficult if you add them sooner.)

Note: The longer you let the dressing sit, the tamer the flavor of the shallots becomes.  I refrigerated mine overnight and the shallots were almost like candy!   I’m NOT a raw-onion girl.


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Finally, drizzle the dressing into the salad bowl and toss it together!  Start with less at first.  You can always add, but once you’ve over-dressed it you can’t go back!

Ooooh!  This salad is SO good!  It pairs very nicely with a salty or savory meat dish.  Slap a twice-baked potato or Sister Schubert’s roll on that plate and you’ve got my idea of a perfect evening!  Enjoy.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura Staples permalink
    November 11, 2010 7:13 pm

    Hey girl! I found your blog through Jenn’s and yippee for that!! Love your taste in food friend. I am a saladaholic and get so bent out of shape at most people’s version of a salad! Yours looks delish and I am all about that dressing, it has many of my favs!

    I will be checking back for more great recipes. Tell Chris ‘Hi’ for us!

    Laura

  2. November 11, 2010 9:56 pm

    Well I’m no salad-aholic but I do get irritated by those who smother iceburg lettuce in “Rainch” and call it a salad! 🙂 Hope the Staples are well. I always enjoy the quotes and pics on your blog.

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