Strawberry, Spinach, and Arugula Salad with Lighter Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry, Spinach, and Arugula Salad with Lighter Poppy Seed Dressing

I know. This recipe is not one you have not heard before. In fact, it is not all that creative. To be quite honest, after all the moving, cleaning, and opening boxes I feel like I am still in recovery mode. Therefore, I am going through a phase where all I want is simple dishes made with seasonal ingredients that I can make in less than 30 minutes. Preferably, with ingredients, I already have in the fridge. It is spring and strawberries are in abundance. This strawberry, spinach, and arugula salad fits the bill. It is the definition of a simple salad served in a bowl.

Simple, indeed.

Strawberry, Spinach, and Arugula Salad with Lighter Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry, Spinach, and Arugula Salad with Lighter Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry, Spinach, and Arugula Salad with Lighter Poppy Seed Dressing

A classic poppy seed dressing uses vinegar, shallots, sugar, mayo, poppy seeds, and olive oil. In my lighter version, I substituted sugar with maple syrup (honey would work as well) and mayo with veganaise (yogurt would work as well). I kept the rest of the ingredients traditional. I also decreased the amount of olive oil I used so that the salad isn’t drenched. If you like it more dressed up, increase the amount of olive oil by 2 or 3 tablespoons.

Strawberry, Spinach, and Arugula Salad with Lighter Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry, Spinach, and Arugula Salad with Lighter Poppy Seed Dressing

I continued with the traditional way of serving strawberry and spinach salad by adding some nuts and cheese. I choose pine nuts and ricotta because I love the combination. In the past, I also used walnuts and blue cheese, and it was still dreamy. Make sure not to skip on roasting the nuts as it makes a huge difference. The heat brings out the oils in them making them full of nutty flavor.

Strawberry, Spinach, and Arugula Salad with Lighter Poppy Seed Dressing

Either way, if you are like me, in need of a spring salad recipe that is easy and quick, make this salad. Eat it all by yourself or share with your family.

Simple. Because some days, all I need is simple.

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Strawberry, Spinach, and Arugula Salad with Lighter Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry, Spinach, and Arugula Salad with Lighter Poppy Seed Dressing

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  • Author: Aysegul Sanford
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw Food
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • For the Poppy Seed Dressing:
  • 1 medium size (or 2 small) shallot, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vegenaise or fat-free yogurt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the salad:
  • 4 cups baby spinach, washed and spin-dried
  • 2 cups baby arugula, washed and spin-dried
  • 2 cups strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 1/4 cups of pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese

Instructions

  1. To make the poppy seed dressing: Place all the dressing ingredients in a medium-size jar and shake vigorously. Place it in the fridge.
  2. To make the salad: Combine the spinach and arugula in a large salad bowl. Stir in the strawberries and pine nuts. Pour the dressing over the salad. Give it a gentle stir. When ready to serve, place small chunks of ricotta cheese on the salad. Serve immediately.

Notes

You can substitute pine nuts and ricotta cheese with walnuts and blue cheese. [br]You can make the poppy seed dressing 2-3 days in advance and keep in a jar in the fridge.

Strawberry, Spinach, and Arugula Salad with Lighter Poppy Seed Dressing

16 comments
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  • Laura - Oh goodness, this is so gorgeous!! “Creative” or not, this is exactly what I want to be eating these days, and this salad – and those strawberries – are perfection. Beautiful photos, friend! Hope you are settling in to your new home 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Emilie @The Clever Carrot - My friend you know I love simple and I just love strawberries with a green like Arugula! My little guy eats strawberries like he knows the season won’t last. We love to go strawberry picking! Hoping that you are settling in and discovering all your props. It’s like Christmas opening them up again!! Your photos are stunning as always! XOXOReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Ha ha.. I was like that when I was a kid. Still to this they strawberries are my favorite fruit.
      We are doing well. Good to have my stuff back. Yes, it definitely feels like Christmas around here. 🙂
      Thank you for your sweet words Emilie. Coming from you, they mean so much to me.
      <3ReplyCancel

  • Tessa | Salted Plains - Beautiful photos! Simple is best in my book! Spinach and strawberries are one of my very favorite combinations come springtime and I know I will be making this salad. Best of luck settling in, my dear!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie McKinnie - This salad and your photos are gorgeous! I love that it is simple with big flavor! I can only imagine how great it must feel to have a studio to work in, not to mention your new PROPS! Woohoo!!! xOReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - So true. It feels so good to have my props back and have a place where I can call my own studio. 🙂
      I agree, sometimes it is good to just go simple and show people what I eat.
      Thank you so much for your kind words Stephanie <3ReplyCancel

  • Emily - Absolutely nothing wrong with simple, especially when so beautiful! Sometimes I think its easy to overcomplicate the foods we eat; simplicity allows the ingredients to truly shine. I learn so much by looking at how you compose and style every single one of your photos- I love them all, Aysegul. Hope you are able to fit in some rest time in the midst of all that unpacking! It’s grueling, isn’t it?!ReplyCancel

  • Aimee - I know I say it every time but I really cannot get over your photos every time I look at them. I think you are my favourite food photographer – seriously! And this sounds SO delicious.ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Awww Aimee.. You are so sweet. Your kind words mean so SO much to me. Thank you.
      Your photography is beautiful too. And I LOVE your creative vegan recipes.
      <3ReplyCancel

  • Pang - Who said you can’t serve a simple recipe, esp. when it’s so beautifully done. Love is in the SPRING air because of this simply dish. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Beeta @ Mon Petit Four - I love that you made this dressing lighter, Aysegul! I love poppy seed dressing but you’re right, it can be a bit fattening in the traditional sense, so this is a great take on a healthier version 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - I do too. Isn’t it amazing that with just a couple of simple ingredient swaps we can make a dish much healthier while it is still delicious?
      This salad is my favorite for this time of the year when strawberries are in abundance. :))
      Thank you my friend.ReplyCancel

  • Denise @ na2na3.com - Hi Aysegul,

    Your photographs are incredible!!

    We are a recipe website inspired by Game of Thrones and we think that’s Ygritte’s salad : ))
    Would you agree? : ))

    http://na2na3.com/gameofthrones/recipe/192?food=summer-saladReplyCancel

Hi There!

I am so glad you stopped by and I hope you are enjoying my adventures in cooking, photography, and life. 
I am Aysegul: the photographer, writer, designer, recipe creator, and dishwasher behind this blog. This website is a journal of my favorite seasonal and healthy recipes. Click around and let me know if I can help in any way. 
Meanwhile, if you make one of my recipes please use the hashtag #flprfeats so that I can see it. If you want to follow along with what I am up to on a daily basis you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

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