Food

Strawberry and Spinach Salad

spinach-salad-with-stawberries-bacon

Sometimes unexpected pairings turn out to be the best, and today’s recipe proves the case. This spinach salad with strawberries and bacon makes for a sweet and salty combination that’s so much better than boring greens. Elizabeth from Brooklyn Supper shows us how…

strawberry-salad-with-bacon

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Bacon
by Elizabeth Stark of Brooklyn Supper

I’ve noticed something about salads, especially ones made from dark leafy greens. These virtuous vegetables – packed with nutrition, superfoods, detoxifying, yada yada – are consumed far too virtuously. We don’t hesitate to toss roasted cauliflower with handfuls of cheese, sweet potatoes and carrots get a hit of brown sugar from time to time, and the things we do to tomatoes and potatoes border on obscene. But we expect leafy greens to stand in the corner adjusting their halos, while the other vegetables have all the fun. There’s nothing wrong with eating healthful food healthfully, but the best way to maximize the benefits of leafy greens is to actually eat them. (And the better they taste, the more you’ll eat.)

One great way to add a little more flavor to vegetables, without straight-up undoing all their inherent goodness, is to use a little bacon. Even with something as simple as a salad, a small amount of pork can really boost flavor. With that in mind, I threw together this simple salad made with crisp bacon, sliced strawberries and tender spinach.

Smoky bits of bacon play on the sweet strawberries and savory spinach beautifully, while minced shallots add a little kick and balsamic vinegar saturates everything with just the right amount of sour. Besides a smattering of chopped bacon folded in with the other ingredients, the dressing features a drizzle of bacon grease whisked in with shallots, balsamic, Dijon mustard and olive oil. It’s delicious and healthful and satisfying all at the same time. Even better, you can throw this pretty creation together in minutes, all the while showing folks that angelic spinach knows how to have a good time, too.

salad-with-strawberriesbacon

Recipe: Strawberry Spinach Salad With Bacon

You’ll need:

6 strips bacon
2 tbsp finely minced shallot (about 1 large)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
sea salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch spinach, trimmed, rinsed well, and rough chopped
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
black pepper

Set a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crisp. Set on a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon grease.

Pour 2 tablespoons warm bacon grease into a small bowl with minced shallot. Use a fork to whisk in the balsamic, Dijon, honey and a pinch of sea salt. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. It’s just fine if the dressing doesn’t emulsify completely.

Chop the bacon.

Place spinach in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with several tablespoons dressing and toss to coat. Scatter strawberries and bacon, add another drizzle of vinaigrette, and finish with a pinch of sea salt and several twists freshly ground black pepper. Serve right away.

 

salad-stawberries-bacon

 

summer-strawberry-salad

Thank you so much, Elizabeth!

P.S. More recipes, including the best Caesar salad and easy kale chips.

(Photos and recipe by Elizabeth Stark. Thanks to Caroline Donofrio for helping with this series.)

  1. kalangkang says...

    This sounds amazing! another one of my favorite salads is with watermelon and feta cheese! It’s delightful!
    http://www.total8plus.com/

  2. Shirley says...

    Thanks for the recipe! I just made this salad today since I had all the ingredients and needed a side for dinner for the family tonight- DELICIOUS. The combination of sweet and salty is perfect and the dressing is UNREAL. I hope I don’t eat it all up before it’s actually dinner time!

    • Hi Shirley, Thanks SO MUCH for the excellent recipe feedback. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe as much as I did. (And I know what you mean about the dressing – I found myself snacking on spinach in the lead up to dinner at my house.) Cheers!

  3. I love this kind of salad! We had something very similar in our wedding! We wanted a light lunch and one of the dishes was a very similar salad. Oh, memories! :)
    xx,
    E.
    http://www.theslowpace.com

  4. You should try iceberg lettuce, avocado, strawberries and cottage cheese with a honey balsamic glaze. Easiest,well balanced, fav food on my diet plan!

  5. I adore the combination of tart spinach and sweet strawberries! Pine nuts and goat cheese are some additional yummy ingredients as well!

    (=’.’=)
    -Lauren
    adorn la femme

  6. Jo Chan Smith says...

    I make a version of this salad, which has toasted slivered almonds instead of bacon. I quite like the idea of bacon as well! Will try it soon.
    Thanks, great post.

  7. This salad looks delicious for hot summer days and is so pretty – a bonus!! Loved the kale chip recipe too!!

  8. Judy says...

    I love this salad and make it all the time! If you don’t have the time or ingredients, Brianna makes a yummy dressing (the one with the strawberry on it!) that’s perfectly delish, too!

  9. june2 says...

    So interesting all the people suggesting cheese. Sometimes a clean salad is so much more refreshing without all that extra creaminess. Aaaand sometimes you want creamy, I know. I guess for the way I eat now, the bacon with it’s fat in the dressing is already just the perfect level of fattiness to still maintain the lightness and brightness of the strawberries and spinach.

  10. This salad looks delicious!! I made one a few weeks ago to say good bye to the last strawberries in Buenos Aires (it’s fall now) but I love this recipe. Bacon sounds like it could be a good match! I’ve never tried this combination. Thank you!

    Alina
    http://www.eclecticalu.blogspot.com

  11. Jessica says...

    Any guesses how many servings this would yield?

    • Hi Jessica, Good question! I’d say 4 – 6, depending on if you serve it as a main or a side.

  12. This salad is so pretty! I usually don’t like fruit in my salad, but this actually sounds quite good. I’ve pinned it for future reference and can’t wait to give it a try :)

    xo, Liz
    http://lipstickandconfetti.com

  13. Lisa says...

    I love this! I also add goat cheese (TJ’s sells a really good honey infused one), sliced almonds and lots of avocado. Perfect for summer dining!

  14. My mom has made a similar salad for years. Everyone used to turn their nose up at it at family gatherings, but it always disappeared by the end. Now it’s trending! Love the idea of putting mustard in the dressing. Yum. :)

  15. Yes! Spinach and strawberries are the best combination! Vegetarian here, so I usually add goat cheese and sliced, toasted almonds to mine instead of bacon, and just a simple balsamic dressing.

  16. Love the way this post was written – smooth and witty! (: This sounds delicious, would whip it up the kitchen soon (and add some crushed walnuts!).

    xo Jia, honeyandgazelle.wordpress.com

  17. I love strawberry spinach salad! It’s the perfect summer salad. I personally don’t like bacon, but I imagine my husband would love that addition!

    Kristi
    http://www.beloverly.com

  18. I love love love strawberry spinach salads! I make mine with a lemon poppy seed dressing. It’s really good with big chunks of avocado too.

  19. mary says...

    i think some blue cheese would be nice here too.

  20. YUM. gorgeous! some gorgonzola might be a friendly addition :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good idea!

  21. I love this idea! I always make my spinach salad with mandarin oranges, almonds, and red onion. But bacon? Sounds like a game-changer :)

  22. This sounds amazing! I’ll definitely give it a try, but I feel like it’s screaming for the addition of chevre!

  23. yael steren says...

    This looks so good! Another one of my favorite salads is with watermelon and feta cheese! It’s delightful!!! xoxo yael

    http://www.yaelsteren.com/blog/