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.
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.
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.
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.
Strawberry, Spinach, and Arugula Salad with Lighter Poppy Seed Dressing
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
- To make the poppy seed dressing: Place all the dressing ingredients in a medium-size jar and shake vigorously. Place it in the fridge.
- 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.