Elevate your salad experience with a burst of vibrant colours and tantalising flavours in this Spinach and Berry Salad. A symphony of fresh baby spinach leaves, plump and juicy berries, and the delicate crunch of candied pecans come together to create a delightful fusion of textures and tastes. This salad is not only a visual feast but also a nutritious powerhouse, brimming with antioxidants and essential vitamins. The sweet and tangy vinaigrette drizzled over the top perfectly complements the natural sweetness of the berries. Whether as a refreshing side or a light meal on its own, this salad embodies the essence of wholesome, palate-pleasing goodness. Prepare to embark on a culinary journey that celebrates the vibrant harmony of nature’s bounty with every mouthful of this Spinach and Berry Salad.
How To Make This Recipe
For the Salad:
- 6 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup mixed berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
- 1/2 cup candied pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 50g feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
For the Vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the Salad:
- Wash and thoroughly dry the baby spinach leaves. Place them in a large salad bowl.
- Add the Berries and Nuts:
- Rinse and pat dry the mixed berries. Gently toss them into the bowl with the spinach leaves.
- Add the chopped candied pecans for a delightful crunch.
- Incorporate Red Onion and Feta (optional):
- Thinly slice the red onion and add it to the salad for a subtle kick of flavour.
- If using, crumble the feta cheese and sprinkle it over the salad for an extra creamy element.
- Prepare the Vinaigrette:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard until well combined.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Dress the Salad:
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Start with a portion and toss gently. Add more dressing as needed, ensuring not to overdress.
- Plate the Spinach and Berry Salad on individual serving plates or in a large salad bowl if serving family-style.
- Optional Garnish:
- For an added touch, you can garnish with a few extra whole berries or a sprig of fresh mint.
- Serve the salad immediately while it’s fresh and the flavours are vibrant.
- Feel free to customise the salad by adding other ingredients like avocado slices, toasted almonds, or grilled chicken for extra protein.
With its medley of colours and flavours, this Spinach and Berry Salad is a delightful addition to any meal, or it can stand alone as a refreshing and nutritious dish. Bon appétit!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Can I use other types of greens instead of baby spinach? A1: Yes, you can substitute baby spinach with other leafy greens like arugula, mixed salad greens, or kale. Adjust the dressing and toppings accordingly.
Q2: How do I keep the salad fresh if I want to make it ahead of time? A2: If you need to prepare the salad in advance, keep the dressing separate and toss it just before serving to prevent wilting.
Q3: Can I use a different type of nut instead of pecans? A3: Absolutely! You can use almonds, walnuts, or any other nut of your choice for added crunch and flavour.
Q4: Is it possible to make this salad vegan? A4: Yes, you can easily make this salad vegan by omitting the feta cheese or using a dairy-free alternative. Additionally, substitute honey with a vegan-friendly sweetener.
Q5: What can I use as a substitute for balsamic vinegar? A5: If you don’t have balsamic vinegar, you can use red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or a combination of lemon juice and a touch of brown sugar for a similar tangy flavour.
Q6: Can I add protein like grilled chicken or tofu to make this a complete meal? A6: Absolutely! Grilled chicken, tofu, or even chickpeas are excellent additions to make the salad more substantial and protein-rich.
Q7: How long can I store leftover salad in the refrigerator? A7: Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. Keep in mind that the texture may change due to the dressing, so it’s best enjoyed fresh.
Q8: Can I use frozen berries if fresh ones are not available? A8: While fresh berries are recommended for their texture and flavour, you can use frozen berries that have been thawed and drained.
Q9: How can I make the salad more filling for a main course? A9: To make the salad more substantial, consider adding additional protein sources like grilled chicken, quinoa, or chickpeas. You can also include more hearty vegetables like roasted sweet potatoes.
Q10: Can I use a different type of sweetener in the vinaigrette? A10: Yes, you can use alternative sweeteners like maple syrup, agave nectar, or a sugar substitute. Adjust the quantity to your desired level of sweetness.
Serving Size: 1 portion (as a side dish)
Calories: 220 kcal Protein: 4g Fat: 15g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 9g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Carbohydrates: 20g
- Dietary Fiber: 4g
- Sugars: 14g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 160mg Vitamin A: 4000IU (80% DV) Vitamin C: 50mg (83% DV) Calcium: 120mg (12% DV) Iron: 3mg (17% DV) Potassium: 450mg (13% DV)
Note: These values are approximate and can vary based on specific ingredients and portion sizes. It’s always recommended to refer to specific product labels or consult with a nutritionist for precise information.
Certainly! Here are some serving suggestions for Spinach and Berry Salad:
- Grilled Chicken or Tofu: Add a grilled chicken breast or some marinated tofu cubes for a protein-packed main course.
- Crusty Bread or Rolls: Serve the salad with slices of crusty bread or warm rolls on the side. It’s perfect for mopping up any leftover dressing.
- Quiche or Frittata: Pair the salad with a slice of vegetable quiche or a fluffy frittata for a light and satisfying meal.
- Soup: Serve a bowl of soup like tomato basil or butternut squash alongside the salad for a well-rounded lunch or dinner.
- Pasta: Pair the salad with a light pasta dish, such as a lemon and garlic spaghetti or a pesto linguine, for a balanced and satisfying meal.
- Grains: Add a serving of cooked quinoa, couscous, or farro to make the salad more filling and substantial.
- Dinner Rolls with Butter: Offer a selection of dinner rolls with butter for a delightful contrast of warm, buttery goodness against the crisp salad.
- Cheese Plate: Create a cheese board with an assortment of cheeses, crackers, and dried fruits. The salad complements the rich and savoury flavours.
- Herb-Infused Olive Oil Dip: Serve the salad with a side of crusty bread and a small bowl of herb-infused olive oil for dipping.
- Lemonade or Iced Tea: Accompany the salad with a refreshing glass of homemade lemonade or iced tea for a cool and revitalising beverage.
- Fruit Salad: Continue the fruit theme with a vibrant fruit salad, featuring a medley of seasonal fruits, as a refreshing dessert.
- Minted Yogurt Dip: Offer a light and refreshing minted yogurt dip as a side, especially if you’ve included spicy elements in the salad.
Remember, the goal is to create a balanced and harmonious meal. These suggestions can be tailored to your taste preferences and dietary needs. Enjoy your Spinach and Berry Salad!