This is a tasty and easy salad that can be prepared well in advance of guests arriving. The salad can be prepared beforehand and just needs to be tossed with the dressing as soon as the guests sit down. Because of the colors, this salad looks fabulous in its own right, as simple as it is.
I dressed up this simple spinach salad by adding baby swiss chard, beet greens and young arugula. If you can get your hands on it, add some red tatsoi. Red tatsoi, also called spinach mustard, has spoon-shaped, red-violet leaves and a mild, sweet mustard flavor. It adds a gentle spicy flavor to the salad. It’s often included in the mesclun greens mix coming out of Italy, as with baby Swiss chard, also called silver beet. Baby Swiss chard leaves can be green or reddish in color; as with the stalks themselves. Sweet and earthly, it’s resembles spinach in taste.
I love this salad in spring when strawberries make their appearance, but really it’s the best at the height of the season, when stands in the shape of giant strawberries start popping up with vendors selling ruby red and super sweet strawberries. That’s when you know that the season for “strawberry mania” has once again swept across the country. Hallelujah for summer!
As you may have noticed by now, I really love fruit in my salads — but seeds and nuts are fabulous too. The roasted pumpkin seeds go particularly well with this salad, though I think the mix of pine nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds keeps it more interesting to the palate. Together with strawberries and lemon – a symphony of flavor!
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Dressing
For the salad:
4 cups fresh spinach (100 g)
generous handful of baby salad greens (baby red swiss chard, baby beet greens, arugula, red tatsoi)
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries (200 g)
1/2 cup mix of pine nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, toasted (30 g)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the dressing:
1/2 cup extra-olive olive oil or grapeseed oil (120 ml)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon finely grated organic lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon raw cane sugar
1. In a small bowl combine the oil, lemon juice, shallot, mustard, lemon zest, and sugar. Whisk together until combined and thickened.
2. In a large bowl, toss together, spinach, mixed salad greens, strawberries, and toasted seeds. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper.