Last Sunday night I was in charge of making dinner. I sent my dad to the store with a list, but at the last minute I called him to change my mind about the side dish for my bacon and onion risotto. Dad, I said, how do you feel about a spinach and strawberry salad on the side? He loved the idea as much as I did. I love incorporating fruit into salads for a crisp and complex taste experience. This salad makes a great side for the aforementioned risotto, a lemony pasta dish, or a spice rubbed grilled chicken. Throw in a couple hard boiled eggs, some avocado, mushrooms, or crunchy bacon bits and this side salad can easily be turned into a quick and flavorful dinner. To bookmark this recipe - trust me it's one you are going to love -

Spinach & Strawberry Salad
From Whole Foods

1/2 shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
6 oz baby spinach leaves
5 fresh strawberries
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 oz goat cheese

  1. Combine the minced shallot and raspberry vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil to the mixture while continuously whisking. Place the vinaigrette in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  2. Roughly chop (or tear) the baby spinach into large julienne strips. Add to a large bowl. Prep the remaining components of the salad, but keep separated.
  3. Slice the strawberries into thin round slices.
  4. Toast the almonds by spreading on a cookie sheet and placing in a 375°F degree oven for approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Crumble the goat cheese into medium-size chunks.
  6. When you are ready to serve the salad, add the strawberries, almonds and goat cheese and lightly mix together.
  7. Add the dressing slowly (you may not want to add all the dressing to the salad). Gently mix together and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Substitute: if you are not a fan of purchasing specialty vinegars substitute a good balsamic vinegar.