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Spinach Salad with Creamy Strawberry Vinaigrette

Published: 5/17/21
2 readers recommend

By Catherine Newman

Hands-on time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Total carbohydrates: 4 grams per serving

Yes, you could just slice the strawberries and add them to your spinach salad like a normal person. But putting them in the dressing makes the whole thing so pinkly gorgeous, and you get that bright berry flavor in every bite. Add sliced strawberries too, if you like, and call it a Double-Strawberry Salad. While you’re at it, feel free to add other ingredients as well: grilled chicken will turn this salad into a main dish; diced avocado and chopped toasted almonds will add richness and crunch. Or make it as written and it will be simply wonderful.

If you’re looking to:

Lower the fat: Skip adding extra feta to the salad.

Lower the salt: Reduce the salt in the vinaigrette.

Ingredients

For the dressing:

½ cup strawberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt (or ¼ teaspoon table salt)

1 clove garlic, chopped (or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder)

1 tablespoon crumbled feta

1 teaspoon lemon juice or balsamic vinegar (if you need it)

For the salad:

4 ounces (around 4 cups) baby spinach

½ English cucumber (the plastic-wrapped kind), peeled if you like and, sliced (I like to halve it and scoop the seeds out with a spoon before slicing, because I’m fancy like that)

¼ cup crumbled feta

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing: Put the strawberries, oil, salt, garlic, and feta in a blender and blend at high speed until smooth, stopping to scrape down the blender jar with a rubber spatula if all the ingredients fly up and stick to the sides. Taste the dressing on a piece of spinach. If it needs a little extra zing, add the lemon juice. If it needs a little extra sweetness, add the balsamic vinegar. If it needs a little extra salt, add more salt or more feta. Blend and taste again, adjusting as you need to until it is very good. (Note: If you’re not using a high-speed blender and the dressing ends up too thick to pour, you can add a tablespoon of water and blitz it again.)

  2. Arrange the spinach on a platter or put it in a bowl, then top with the cucumber, drizzle on the dressing, and sprinkle with feta. Bring it to the table all fancy like that, but then toss it before serving.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Her book "How to Be A Person" was published in 2020. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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