Spinach Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Spinach-Salad-4Things look a little different around New York City these days. The tulips and daffodils are in full bloom as are the cherry blossom trees. The outdoor markets and specialty stores are loaded with colorful and vibrant spring vegetables such as today’s recipe star: Spinach.

Although, as I write this entry, it seems as though winter has returned for a little visit. Outside the weather is gloomy and gray and it seems at any moment we will have a downpour of rain. But I cannot deny the spring garden party happening on my plate and the message my taste buds are sending to my brain:  SPRING IS HERE, finally!

During my first pregnancy I was terribly iron deficient. My physician recommended eating iron rich foods with vitamin C rich foods for absorption. The example she tossed at me was spinach with strawberries. The moment she mentioned those two foods together I was hooked!

Spinach salad is lovely paired up with hard-boiled eggs, bacon, and pickled red onions.  This version is more on the sweet side and makes for a perfect spring or summer salad. The addition of feta cheese creates a salty-sweet combo and the mint leaves are pleasantly refreshing. Don’t be surprised if your children finally enjoy eating spinach with this salad. Perhaps they will even submit a request for this salad. Mine gobbled this up the other night at the dinner table. It’s a great way to get the kiddos to eat a vegetable they typically turn their nose to without having to bring Popeye and his spinach-related-strength into the conversation.

The dressing is inspired by a Rachael Ray recipe while the salad is inspired by my children, who love strawberries, watermelon and feta, and coincidently, love this salad.  :)

Spinach-Salad-1RECIPE:

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 ½ tablespoons strawberry jam

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the strawberry jam and balsamic vinegar.  Once blended whisk in the olive oil until the dressing becomes thick.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside or refrigerate.

Spinach Salad

8 ounces spinach, washed and dried

¼ cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed

1-cup strawberries, sliced

1-cup watermelon, cubed

½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

¼ cup sliced almonds

Combine spinach, mint, strawberries and watermelon in a large bowl.  Toss with salad dressing.  Top with crumbled feta cheese and sliced almonds.  Serve immediately.

Spinach-Salad-3

 

©2014 by Alexandra Salidas Roll, Figs & Feta, LLC.

Recipe and photos by Alexandra Salidas Roll of Figs & Feta, LLC.  Please do not reprint this recipe without permission.  If you would like to feature this recipe on your blog or site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link your post to this one as the original source.  Thank you!


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