Meatless Mondays- Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

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I'm a little late in the game on posting this one, since it's a peak of summer salad and as I type it's a rainy Monday with a slight chill in the air and all I want is chili for lunch.  In the case that we might have some nice, warm days still ahead or that you find a mysteriously perfect package of strawberries, I wanted to still post this salad this summer.

This is easy, quick, and makes for a great light main course or for a side salad.  It's really tasty, too.  The toasted pecans...well if I were a poet, I am sure there are some stanzas to be written about them.  The vinaigrette, too, is easy, and makes a ton.  I gave some away and kept some for myself and still have a cup or so left.

Strawberry Vinegar- It's pretty and makes you feel accomplished!

The recipe comes from the Gourmet Today cookbook, and I was so happy to find a spinach and strawberry salad with a dressing that isn't loaded with sugar.  Making the strawberry vinegar is pretty easy and involves all of about 10 minutes.  With a food processor and strainer, you too can sound super food cool when you tell others you made strawberry vinegar.

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
from Gourmet Today
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side

1- 5 oz. package baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (see notes)
1 1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tb. strawberry vinegar (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, place spinach, pecans and strawberries.  In a jar or small bowl, mix together the olive oil and vinegar, along with salt and pepper.  Pour over spinach mixture and toss to coat.

Strawberry Vinegar
1 lb (quart) strawberries, hulled and trimmed
2 cups white balsamic vinegar
2 Tb sugar if strawberries are not sweet

Pulse berries with sugar (if using) in a food processor until finely chopped and very juicy. Transfer to a bowl and add vinegar. Let stand 1 hour. Strain vinegar through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids.


  • To toast pecans, preheat your oven to 350.  Place pecans onto a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, until slightly browned and fragrant.  
  • Variations I've tried include adding blueberries and chicken.  I bet almonds or even walnuts would be a good sub for the pecans.  

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