This weekend we celebrated the 25th birthday of a very special young lady in our lives – our son Nick’s girlfriend, Liz.
For the special picnic we were invited to, I made a batch of my almost famous guacamole, a plateful of homemade chocolate chip cookies, and this YUMMMMMMY Spinach Strawberry Salad with Candied Almonds and Goat Cheese.
Drizzled with an easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette, the crispy fresh spinach, sweet juicy strawberries, crunchy candied almonds, and the creamy goat cheese just SING when tossed together!
Easy – fresh – delicious – beautiful – summery – this is a Five Star Salad you are going to want to try, and your family and friends are going to thank you for making.
Spinach Strawberry Salad with Candied Almonds & Goat Cheese*
- 1 lb fresh baby spinach (approx)
- 1 qt fresh strawberries (chopped)
- 6-8 oz. fresh goat cheese (crumbled)
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tsp brown sugar
- 1 large clove garlic (minced)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp coarse ground pepper
Prepare candied almonds by combining sliced almonds and sugar in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently for several minutes until the sugar begins to caramelize. Keep stirring until all the almonds are coated, and then spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Cool completely. Once they are cooled, break them into chunks for little clusters of crunchy sweetness.
Prepare balsamic vinaigrette dressing by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.
When ready to serve, combine spinach and chopped strawberries, candied almonds, and crumbled goat cheese. Toss with balsamic vinegar, and serve immediately.
You could easily substitute your favorite greens for the spinach – perhaps arugala, romaine…. You could substitute the sliced almonds for walnuts or pecans….. You could also substitute blue cheese or feta for the goat cheese.
Cheers & Hugs,
*Recipe slightly adapted from Veggie & the Beast