Friday, April 9, 2010

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

**Found in Gourmet Magazine

This salad is amazing!  It has sweet sugary strawberries and just enough zing to make your mouth tingle.  (in a good way of course).  Some people just don't know that it's ok to get creative when it comes to salads.  Salads don't have to be basic or boring, and adding that one unusual ingredient can make you blah salad turn into a fantastic amazing salad that friends and family will forever comment about.

Serves 6
Active Time: 30min Start to Finish: 1 1/4 hours (including making your own strawberry vinegar)

2 1/2 Tbsp. strawberry vinegar (recipe to follow)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
5 oz baby spinach (about 8 cups)
1/2 lb strawberries, cut lengthwise into thick slices (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup pecan halves (3 1/2 oz), toasted 

Whisk together vinegar, a rounded 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp pepper in a small bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking well.  Put spinach, strawberries, and pecans in a large bowl and toss with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat.

Strawberry Vinegar:

**makes about 2 cups
start to finish time: 30min

1 lb. strawberries, trimmed (3 cups)
2 tbsp. sugar if berries are not sweet
2 cups white balsamic vinegar

Pulse berries with sugar (if using) in a food processor until finely chopped and very juicy.  Transfer to a bowl and add vinegar.  let stand 1 hour.  Strain vinegar through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids.

**note: vinegar keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week.

xoxo Julie

*feel free and comment your thoughts!  I would love to hear what my readers think.

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