Strawberry Spinach Salad- Sweet strawberries, crunchy walnuts, and blue cheese combine for a crisp and light summer salad.
Confession: Although I spent a decade of my childhood in Tennessee, I don’t consider myself a classic southerner. I don’t have a twang. I’m not a fan of country music or the Grand Old Opry. I’ve never been muddin’, frog gigging, or even owned a pair of boots.
So what did leave a lasting impression? The food! Southern gals can cook!
Southern cuisine is much more than copious amounts of butter. There are many nuanced subsets ranging from Cajun flavors, seafood specialties and a Southern art form all its own- buttermilk biscuits. Of course, Juicy peaches, ripe berries, fresh veggies have a special place too. There’s no such thing as bland southern food.
Fresh From the Farm Ingredients
Inspired by strawberry season, I created a salad bursting with flavors reminiscent of my Tennessee childhood. Wild strawberries and blackberries grew on the acres I used to roam. We had black walnut trees as well. These memories served as the inspiration for my Strawberry Spinach Salad.
Strawberries are a versatile spring/summer ingredient. Perfect for snacking, salad toppings or tossing into a summer pasta salad. They are rich in several essential vitamins. Did you know strawberries have a higher level of Vitamin C than oranges?
Bleu Cheese: The Danish Blue cheese crumbles add an element of salty and mildly spicy flavor, much to the delight of your taste buds. Is it just me, or does cheese make everything better? If Blue Cheese is a little too intense, you can substitute feta, goat cheese, or even cotija crumbles.
Greens – For the greens, I usually mix spinach in with a few spring greens. For a complementary color, you can add in some radicchio lettuce. It’s bright purple and has a little more crunchy texture than other lettuces.
Dressing – There is a recipe included for a homemade raspberry vinaigrette in the card below that is super simple to make! Warning: this summery vinaigrette is highly addictive! I recommend making extra to keep on hand. Plus you can store it in this cute presence cruet for freshness. It makes a great marinade. Other dressings that could go well with this salad would be a regular balsamic vinaigrette, poppy seed dressing, or a blush wine vinaigrette.
Toppings and Variations
Try some of these yummy alternatives to to make this salad recipe your own:
- Cheese: Swap out the bleu cheese for feta, goat cheese, or cotija.
- Nuts: Walnuts can be substituted for pecans, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, or pistachios.
- Fruit: Substitute or add oranges, grapes, sliced pears, peaches, or ripened berries.
- Protein: Add grilled chicken, salmon, hardboiled eggs, shrimp, or chopped bacon.
- Onions: Sliced red onions or chopped green onions
Frequently asked questions:
When prepping the salad for plating, I prefer to lightly toss the greens before topping. Want to avoid soggy lettuce/overdressed greens? Place the greens in a wide mouth bowl. Fill a cruet or similar dispenser with raspberry vinaigrette. Lightly dress the outer rim of the bowl, right above where the greens lay, while spinning gently. Toss the greens.
Blackberries or Raspberries
Pecans (instead of walnuts)
Choose any toppings you prefer and keep it interesting with different variations!
What to Serve with Strawberry Spinach Salad
Serve the salad with a fresh loaf of crusty bread. If you’re craving some extra protein or married to a meat & potatoes type guy like myself, grill a chicken breast or piece of fish to serve alongside. Enjoy this tasty, simple supper on your back porch with a tall glass of iced tea (like they say, you can take the girl out of the South but you can’t take the South out of the girl) or crisp glass of chilled white wine. Enjoy ya’ll! 😉
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Strawberry Spinach Salad
- 10 oz Spinach mix I use a spinach spring mix
- 2 cups chopped radicchio (OPTIONAL) For bright purple color
- 1 lb Strawberries
- 4 oz Danish Blue Cheese Crumbles
- 1 ½ cup Chopped Walnuts
- 1 cup Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1 ¼ cup raspberries, fresh or frozen thaw if frozen
- 1 ½ tbsp honey more to taste if you prefer or rasberries aren’t as ripe
- ⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar you can use regular balsamic if needed
- 2 tbsp quality olive oil
- pinch Salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup cucumbers, sliced
- For dressing, rinse the raspberries. In a blender, puree the raspberries. Place in a cheesecloth and crush through the pulp to remove most of the seeds. If you do not have cheesecloth, you can use a mesh strainer. You should have about ¾ cup of raspberry puree.
- Take the ¾ cup of strained pulp and mix with honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon, and salt. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to meld.
- Wash and spin salad greens. Wash and slice strawberries. Top greens with strawberries, cucumber slices, walnuts, and blue cheese crumbles.
- Serve raspberry vinaigrette dressing on the side.
- Blue Cheese – substitute Feta or Goat Cheese.
- Grape Tomatoes, Avocado, Apple Slices, or Red Onions make great additions if you would like to try them out.
- Radicchio – a bright purple lettuce, this is a great addition for both color and a crunchy lettuce texture.
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