Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Earlier this week we listed some of the produce that’s coming into season this Spring. This is the time of year when I start to shift my focus from winter-time roasted root vegetables (potatoes, turnips, rhubarb) to fresh salads I can pair with flavorful grilled options. This mix of fresh greens, juicy strawberries, and tangy dressing has my mouth watering already! There are so many fantastic salad variations out there but this is by far one of my favorites!

Ingredients (serves 4-6 as a side salad, 1-2 for a meal)

1 pint fresh strawberries, halved or sliced thinly

½ cup of roasted walnuts, chopped 

4 oz goat cheese 

4 oz baby spinach and 4 oz mixed greens (I like the different textures of the greens and think the dressing holds better to the mix –  sometimes I do use all spinach)

2-4 tbsp of poppy seed dressing (store-bought is great, but if you really want to make your own this recipe from the Kitchn is BOMB!)

Directions

Remove the tops of the strawberries and thinly slice. Set aside.

Rinse and drain your greens. Use a salad spinner or pat dry to remove excess liquid to keep them from wilting. Transfer the greens to a bowl and add the strawberries and roasted walnuts.

Add about 1-2 tbsp of the poppy seed dressing into the bowl and toss lightly to coat.

Begin to break up the goat cheese into smaller pieces. Goat cheese can be very creamy so starting with cold goat cheese right from the fridge can help keep the consistency. You can break off pieces using a fork or your hands. Begin to add the goat cheese pieces to the salad, tossing gently halfway through to distribute it evenly.

Once tossed, top off the salad with a little extra dressing and serve right away. 

If you are packing this salad for lunch at work, the quality is so much better if you keep the salad deconstructed and build it at your worksite. I hope you enjoy this salad recipe using in season ingredients such as spinach and strawberries. Have recipe requests? You can contact me at christine@womenssportschicago.com

Christine Steinmetz