Summer Salads: Ways to use more strawberries

strawberry

When Beth and I were planning this month’s newsletter article and recipe, I was thinking about which produce had been particularly good this summer? Maybe I have just been lucky but I have had more delicious strawberries this summer than I have in years. We hope you enjoy this article and recipe from dietitian Sara Haas.

Note this recipe is for 1 person so it will be easy to double or triple it for more hungry people.

P.S. Just a hint when you see the term “macerated”.  Just think “mashed”.

Beth Beckett & Mary Beth Peiffer

Spinach + Macerated Strawberries = Yummy Salad

It’s probably not too shocking to hear that I love salads. But, let me clarify, I like salads that have lots of flavor and that satisfy. So if I’m building a salad, rest assured that it will taste good, be nutritious and leave you feeling content – like a happy little rabbit. Guaranteed then, that this Spinach Salad with Macerated Strawberry dressing will leave your little white tail twitching with joy.

The inspiration for this salad all started with a recent trip to the Green City Market here in Chicago. The market was just beginning to show the signs that summer produce was on its way. The tables were brimming with beautiful tomatoes and the last of the asparagus was quickly being picked up by shoppers. Then on some tables, I spied the early crop of strawberries, a beautiful sight to see indeed. I picked up my pint and quickly hurried home.

After indulging in a few strawberries, I knew that I wanted to use them for a spinach salad. And not just for a garnish, but for a dressing too. That’s when I decided that macerating them would be lovely and would make a great base for a salad dressing. Macerating berries is really just a way to soften them. To do this I used a little bit of sugar to bring out some the natural juice and then a spoon, to mash them. The result – a bright and refreshing dressing that celebrates this magnificent summer fruit.

Here are my Top 5 Ways to use fresh strawberries!

  1. Slice or chop and add to still or sparkling water. Add some fresh mint or basil to make it even more refreshing.
  2. As a topping for anything and everything – oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream, angel food cake, pancakes, literally anything and everything!
  3. Add them to your savory dishes to keep things interesting. Fresh strawberries are great in fresh salsas, added to mustard as a topping for sandwiches or tossed into rice or grain dishes.
  4. Slice them and add them to spring rolls or use them as a filling, along with mascarpone cheese, for sweet, dessert raviolis!
  5. Enjoy them fresh, just as they are and SAVOR every bite!

And Now, the Spinach Salad with Macerated Strawberry Dressing!

Ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 2 strawberries, cored and diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

For the Salad

  • 2 cups spinach, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper slices
  • 1 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

For the Dressing

  1. Place the diced strawberries in a bowl along with the sugar and let sit for about 3-4 minutes. Using a spoon, mash the strawberries then stir in the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil.

For the Salad

  1. To a bowl or plate, add the spinach, and then top with bell pepper, walnuts, sliced strawberries and feta cheese.
  2. Serve with dressing and enjoy.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 198
  • Sodium: 156
  • Fat: 16
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12
  • Carbohydrates: 12
  • Protein: 5

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