Sunday, February 20, 2011

Strawberry Salad with Short-cut Poppy Seed Dressing

I have some serious Spring Fever.  The last few days have been really mild and gorgeous and it makes me so excited for warm weather to come for a longer stay.  I know that we will have plenty of winter left here in Colorado, but as the first California strawberries are making their way into the supermarkets (and coming down in price), I thought I would celebrate a hint of Spring with this cheery salad.  A staple of baby and wedding showers, it's kind of Old School, but there's a reason it's a classic.  It's refreshing and lively and a perfect pick-me-up!  And, as a bonus, it's pretty healthy and pairing the Vitamin C-rich strawberries with the spinach in the salad helps you get the full nutritional benefits of that green Super-Food!  Oh, and the leftover dressing is also really good drizzled on fruit like berries, melon and peaches too!

Strawberry Salad and Short-Cut Poppy Seed Dressing
1 head Romaine lettuce, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 9 oz bag of Baby Spinach
1 quart sized container fresh strawberries (give or take a couple for quality control sampling)
1/4 medium-sized red onion, thinly sliced
toasted sliced almonds for garnish (optional)

1/3 cup mayonnaise (I use reduced-fat)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
salt and pepper to taste

To assemble salad, toss together Romaine lettuce and spinach in a large salad bowl.  Place the sliced onions in small bowl with some ice water and allow to soak for about 10 minutes.  This will help remove some of the spicy raw bite.  After soaking, drain and scatter over the greens.  Remove caps and stems from strawberries and thinly slice length-wise.  Add strawberries to salad.

For dressing, in small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and mustard until smooth.  Stir in milk until desired consistency.  Stir in poppy seeds and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Just before serving salad, stir dressing one final time to make sure it's fully mixed and pour over salad, tossing to combine.  Garnish with toasted sliced almonds if desired.

1 comment:

  1. hahaha my idea of "short-cut" poppy seed dressing would have been picking up a bottle of dressing at the grocery store, but this sounds lovely. i'll have to walk over to penzey's to pick up some poppy seeds and give it try. :)