Spring is such a wonderful season for garden-fresh salads that are perfect for luncheons, brunches, and teas . . . and most importantly for daily enjoyment. I need my greens, folks! Fresh spring berries add such a wonderful flavor element to a savory salad, whether fresh or in a vinaigrette. Strawberries, in particular, are one of my favorite ways to enhance a spring salad.
There is literally a plethora of recipes in which strawberries play a starring role in side salads of fresh greens. After reading and researching many of those recipes as usual, I just developed my own version of both the ingredients of the salad itself, but most importantly, the vinaigrette. This recipe knocked my socks off! I was so blown away by how delicious this spring fresh salad is, that I will, without a doubt, make this over and over again! Even my ranch dressing husband enjoyed it without a negative comment!
A big WOWZA for this newly developed recipe in my repertoire! Thank you sweet strawberries for your fresh inspiration! And oh yes, thank you balsamico vinegar for the tremendous foundation for the vinaigrette! Simply delicioso!
- ⅛ cup sugar (you can also substitute a few Tbsp. of honey if you prefer)
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- pinch of paprika
- 1 tsp. fresh garlic, finely minced
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ⅛ tsp. dry mustard
- 3 Tbsp. minced red onion
- 10 oz. fresh mixed 'mesclun' or spring lettuce or baby spinach
- 1 quart strawberries - cleaned, hulled and sliced
- 1 - 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
- ¼ cup fresh bacon, fully cooked/browned and then chopped/crumbled
- Optional: For some protein, add chunks of cooked chicken or turkey . . . add the amount that you prefer, one or two cups depending on how many you are serving.
- With an immersion blender, mix together the sugar, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, paprika, Worcestershire sauce; dry mustard, salt, pepper, and red onion.
- Blend well until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, chopped eggs, almonds, crumbled cheese, and bacon.
- Or individually plate each salad to garnish the way that you prefer.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad, and toss. Or pass vinaigrette around to guests for their own dressing preference level.