Spring signifies new beginnings, plants blooming, birds chirping, and longer, lighter days. In Southern California, it also signifies one very important thing; the return of rickety old trucks selling strawberries along the side of the road (usually the roads leading to the beach). It’s nearly impossible to drive by without stopping–seriously. When my brother was home for his spring break this past week, he spontaneously came home from the beach with an entire flat of juicy, sun-warmed strawberries in efforts to soak up as much of California as possible before returning to the snowy Midwest. No one can argue with the simplicity of a fresh strawberry, except the genius holding a jar of Nutella… Amazingly, the endless strawberry supply outlasted our dwindling Nutella, so my mom and I took to creating a healthier, albeit equally delicious, use for the strawberries.
Spinach salad, all day, everyday. But honestly, this is one of our go-to salad recipes for a few reasons. First of all, spinach is a powerhouse in the nutrient department. More excitingly, this salad has all the right textural components–you’ll inevitably end up digging to the bottom of the salad bowl to get all the good stuff. We try to eat seasonally, so this is an awesome base salad. As the seasons change, we just rotate fruits and vinegars: come fall swap the strawberries for apples, maybe add come gouda cheese, and use apple cider vinegar, come winter, try pears and pomegranate seeds. The options are endless, but always fresh and delicious.
This is the only salad I’ve ever fought with my brother over who gets to finish it. A fact that can speak for itself.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
4 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp freshly grated ginger*
1 lbs fresh baby spinach
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 oz crumbled goat cheese
Combine dressing ingredients, whisk to combine before dressing salad
Place salad ingredients in serving bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss to combine
*TIP: we keep our fresh ginger root in the freezer. This both keeps it fresh longer and makes it much easier to grate– just be sure you measure correctly, as the frozen ginger grates to have a texture like snow, so pack it down when measuring! No excuse not to have fresh ginger on hand- it adds amazing flavor and brightness.
** We usually don’t use all of the dressing for this salad, so dress lightly and add more if necessary.