Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds and Goat Cheese
I know this recipe isn’t altogether seasonal – the thought of fresh, local strawberries might make my heart go pitter-patter, but I accept that it will still be many months away before they reach my belly. However, I walked past a display of California berries the other day and I just couldn’t resist.
This dressing has a secret ingredient – Worcestershire sauce. My mom’s version calls for a lot of it – there’s even a scribbling at the top of her recipe, “Note: amount of Worcestershire not a mistake”. I think hers called for something like 1/2 cup – granted, it yields a large amount.
Unable to track down the index card where I had scribbled her formula, I riffed on it – with very tasty results.
Worcestershire sauce is based on a tangy blend of malt vinegar, molasses, tamarind, sugar, anchovies, onion and garlic – really, it makes perfect sense for a vinaigrette. And while it has a distinct aroma in the bottle, you really can’t detect it in the salad.
The other components of the dressing are grated onion (in a small amount, but not negotiable – it’s very important!), sugar, oil, pungent white vinegar and crunchy poppyseeds. It’s quite sweet – it really enhances the strawberries and takes the earthy edge off of the raw spinach.
Toasted almonds and creamy cheese add textural interest. To toast almonds, spread on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven and bake for about 6 minutes, watching closely and shaking the pan a couple of times.
I didn’t have goat cheese, and I had some feta to use up – you can use either, but my preference is for soft goat cheese.
Toss with some cooked, cooled quinoa and/or sliced chicken for a complete meal.
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tbsp finely grated onion
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
- 12 cups 2-10 oz bags baby spinach
- 2 cups 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds toasted
- 4 oz 6 tbsp/110 g soft goat cheese or feta, crumbled
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients, taste, and add more salt if needed.
- In a large bowl, combine baby spinach and sliced strawberries. Add a splash of dressing and toss. Repeat, adding small amounts of dressing and tossing until leaves are lightly coated (you will have extra dressing).
- Divide among six plates and top with sliced almonds and goat cheese (or add almonds and cheese to the large bowl and gently toss everything together).