This salad is such a fake out, friends.
It looks fancy, but it is so quick and easy to throw together. There's barely any chopping involved, which is a huge bonus for me because I feel like I live my life around chopping fruits and veggies at my island.
I actually had to laugh when I brought a very similar salad to my friend's barbeque the other day and everyone there was ooh-ing and ahhh-ing over it, throwing around the "g word. ("Gourmet.") I mean, all the ingredients are so easy to find and pretty affordable. It's just a good combo of flavors. Not really what I think of when I think gourmet.
It made me realize two things, though:
1. People are not eating enough salads.
2. People don't realize how easy it is to make salads and make them taste good.
So, I give this awesome spinach salad recipe. Salads like this are my go -to side dish for family potllucks and get togethers with friends because they are so easy to make , simple to transport, and they don't have to be kept warm.
Strawberry Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Lightly Toasted Pecans
- 3 cups (hand-fulls) spinach
- 3/4-1 cup goat cheese crumbles
- a handful of strawberries
- about 3/4 - 1 cup of pecans
- a handful (about half a carton) of grape tomatoes
- salad bowl and serving tongs
- knife and cutting board
- small pan and spatula
1. Toss those pecans into the pan and heat over medium low heat for about 20-30 minutes. (Honestly, when I make this salad for myself I skip this step because it's more about helping them retain a nice subtle crunch while surounded by all that moisture of the salad than it is about taste.) Give em a stir now and then.
2. While those are toasting up prep the strawberries. Cut off the stem at the top and in half the tall way.
3. And slice them the long way.
4. Alright, let's throw this baby together! Spinach leaves first.
5. Now we add the mix-ins starting with the heaviest/ biggest first and working our way to the smallest/ lightest. First, the tomatoes.
6. Then the toasted pecans.
7. Next the chopped strawberries.
8. And finally, the goat cheese crumbles. My favorite!
And there ya go. A beautiful, delicious, faux-gourmet salad. Perfect for a last minute side dish or a contribution to a potluck.
You may be wondering about dressing for this beautiful salad. With this many flavors and the moisture from the cheese and fruit I don't usually add a dressing. But if you are a dressing person a simple drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil is a great choice. A lot of folks like a raspberry vinaigrette, too.
Here's that recipe card for ya: (Click here to print it out.)
Do you know of any other fake-out gourmet salads? I'd love for you to link it up in the comments section!
Happy chomping, friends. And whatever you make, make it yours!
Looking for more healthy recipes? Try these: