Sweeten your spring with this scrumptious salad which is bursting with brisk flavors and valuable nutrients. Green hues spotted with bright red strawberry feed your eyes while the sweet and tangy flavors wake up your taste buds and nourish your body.
Tips for variations and how to make this a full meal in the end of the post. Have a healthy springtime!
Tips for making the salad
You can prepare the spinach and strawberries beforehand and store them covered in the fridge. Also the sauce stores well, tightly covered in the fridge. However, the avocado doesn’t stand storing after it’s cubed, so prepare it just before serving.
This recipe uses normal balsamic vinegar, no syrups, glazes or reductions, neither expensive, aged balsamic vinegar. That’s why I add the stevia, to give some sweetness which goes perfectly with strawberry.
I often use half balsamic vinegar and half water to reduce the acidity and prevent the vinegar from overpowering the delicate flavors. Diluting with water reduces some carbs as well.
My salad experiments
My intention was to create a flavorful salad which is full of nutrients. Something with spring vegetables, maybe a handful of colorful fruits or berries as well. After some more or less serious thinking I decided to try out how the combination of strawberry, spinach and avocado would work.
Originally I planned to use just strawberry and spinach, but then I thought that avocado would be a brilliant addition because of its creamy texture and rich taste. It would also provide some good fats and make the extra-light salad a bit more filling.
Now I had the basic ingredients, but the dressing was missing. Avocado definitely needed something tangy. Lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or maybe balsamic vinegar? Or no tang but simply a dash extra virgin olive oil? I decided to try out each of those.
I thought the dressing doesn’t necessarily need any salt, but maybe some added sweetness would tame the tang. Liquid stevia was the perfect option to give the needed sweetness, so I added it to my test dressings.
Below some photos about my experiments with different dressing options. The balsamic vinegar was the tastiest option in my opinion, so that was my final choice. Lemon juice was a close runner-up, though. Olive oil was completely out of question as the avocado was anyway crying out for something tangy and simply was already giving the needed fat to the salad, also tastewise.
|Per serving if 4 servings:
|Per serving if 6 servings:
|Per serving if 8 servings:
Tips for variations
Make this salad a full lunch by loading it with fried chicken, fried bacon, feta cheese or blue cheese.
Add 2/3 cup (160 ml) of halved or coarsely chopped pecans, toasted slivered almonds or 1/2 cup (120 ml) toasted sesame seeds. A couple of tablespoons poppy seeds go also delectably well and give some texture.
If you prefer even more tang and some citrus flavor — which is fantastic with avocado — you can replace the balsamic vinegar with freshly squeezed lemon juice. To reduce the extreme tang, you can also use half lemon juice and half water. Photo below.