Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese, Apples, Strawberries and Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese, Strawberries and Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

For me, summer and salads go hand in hand.  I crave them. It has nothing to do with watching what I eat, I just want more salad…I wonder why that is?

Recently I was at a fantastic event, benefiting local culinary programs in the Mid-Altantic Region, where 3 incredible chefs cooked up a memorable meal.  Our opener was a Strawberry Salad created by Chef Huan Nales, who flew in from Rioja, Spain for the occasion and although everything that followed was fantastic, that salad was the one thing I couldn’t stop thinking about.  So I headed to my local Whole Foods Market to grab the ingredients to replicate it.

Since I was going to be using strawberries in the salad as well as in the dressing, I knew I wanted organic strawberries.  Whole Foods did not disappoint. Almost as soon as I walked into the store there they were…A big display of Driscoll’s Organic Berries…just waiting for me.  I was a happy girl!

However once home…I errr, ummmm….ok, ok…I ate every-single-strawberry. I couldn’t stop.  They honestly were the sweetest, juiciest strawberries I had ever tasted.

I was in disbelief…It was a bumper crop of berries for sure and I was the lucky recipient.  Soooo that evening I ran right back to Whole Foods and bought 5 more packages!  The kids ate 2 containers full (I may or may not have had a couple more), even my husband was chomping on them.  I had planned to freeze 2 containers of them since they were just so perfect however between making the salad and all the snacking that was happening within 24 hours, there were none left!

That right there is what I adore about Whole Foods.  Food I can trust, food I feel good about giving my family and food, like these strawberries, they can eat till their heart (and stomachs) are content!

If you like strawberries, and you like salads…this salad is a refreshing one to make on a hot day or great opener for a dinner party!

Sweet strawberries, crisp apple slices, crunchy pine nuts and greens  mingles with a fresh strawberry dressing…delicious!

Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese, Strawberries and Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Baby Spinach Salad With Goat Cheese Apples Strawberries & Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
5-6 ounces Baby Spinach
1/2 pound sliced Strawberries
1 green apple sliced thin
1/4 cup pine nuts
Goat Cheese
Optional: Bacon crumbles
1/3 cup mashed strawberries
1/4 cup grapeseed or olive oil
3 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 TBS sugar
Small squeeze of fresh lemon

Place spinach on small salad plates or bowls, add the sliced strawberries, apple slices, pine nuts and goat cheese (bacon crumbles if using as well).

Add all dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse until combined & creamy.  OR simply whisk together in a small bowl vigorously until creamy (berries will be a little chunkier this was but still delicious).


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