This Strawberry Salad is the Side Dish Everyone Will Be Talking About

This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy. This easy strawberry salad recipe features a creamy homemade balsamic dressing, toasted nuts, and sweet ripe berries. It’s the perfect side dish! Ready for our favorite strawberry salad recipe? Strawberries are a natural flavor pairing with the acidity of balsamic vinegar. So for this salad, we used our favorite balsamic vinaigrette dressing to perfectly accentuate the bright red sweet berries. Paired with red onions and toasted almonds, it’s a simple and delicious side everyone loves! Why we love this recipe: As cookbook authors who’ve been sharing recipes online for over a decade, this is one of our favorite ways to eat strawberries! We’ve made it dozens of times with rave reviews, and it works with a variety of meals. The flavor combination just pops ! Featured reader comment “Simple and yummy! I regularly make balsamic dressing but your directions took it up a notch from my usual. I’ll be enjoying this for the next few days!” -C. Ingredients in strawberry salad Strawberry salad is a pretty classic dish, so our best strawberry salad stays true to form. Here’s what’s in our favorite strawberry salad recipe: Ripe strawberries: Finding ripe strawberries is the number one key to a good strawberry salad! If you don’t have access to local berries, try to buy in the summer when strawberries are in season and find the ripest strawberries that you can. If you’re looking to mix it up with the type of berry, try our Blueberry Salad or Blackberry Salad. Homemade balsamic dressing: Strawberries are a natural pair with the acidity of balsamic vinegar, which makes the berries shine! This homemade dressing is so simple, you’ll never go back. Cheese crumbles: Cheese crumbles make for a perfect strawberry salad, though they’re not required. We like feta cheese or goat cheese. For vegan, simply omit the cheese crumbles and it’s just as good! Nuts: Add nuts for crunch in this salad; you can use any you’d like! We recommend pecans, walnuts, or sliced toasted almonds. Red onion: The color and flavor of red onion is our final touch to bring a savory flair to this salad. Here’s a tip to get rid of onion breath: soak the onion slices in cold water for about 15 to 20 minutes before serving! This mellows the flavor and softens the risk of onion breath. How to make strawberry salad: step by step A key to making this strawberry salad recipe is taking the time to mix up your own homemade balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing. It’s a nice alternative using purchased salad dressings, which can contain additives and most importantly, just don’t taste as good! When Alex and I first started cooking together, we threw out our store-bought salad dressings and start making homemade! It makes a world of difference for a great salad. Here’s how to make strawberry salad (or jump to the full recipe for exact quantities): Step 1: Clean the strawberries and slice them. Wash and dry the salad greens. Thinly slice the red onion (if desired, soak it in cold water for 15 minutes before serving to mellow the flavor). Step 2: If desired, toast the nuts for a few minutes until they are golden brown, stirring frequently and watching carefully so that they don’t burn. Immediately remove the nuts to a plate. Step 3: In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and kosher salt. Then gradually whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until fully emulsified and creamy. To serve, spread the greens on a plate and top with strawberries, red onion, nuts, cheese crumbles, vinaigrette, and several grinds of black pepper. Want a different dressing? Other salad dressing options include Poppy Seed Dressing, Strawberry Vinaigrette, or Citrus Salad Dressing. Variations on the nuts If you have time, toasting the nuts is a great way to step up the flavors! It really does intensify the flavors in a noticeable way. Add the nuts to a dry skillet and toast for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Immediately remove to a plate. See How to Toast Pecans, How to Toast Almonds, or How to Toast Walnuts. Other variations on the nuts include hazelnuts, chopped pistachios, candied pecans, or candied walnuts. Other cheese ideas Cheese is optional but adds a welcome savory contrast. We like feta cheese or goat cheese crumbles. Gorgonzola or Parmesan cheese also work. Omit cheese for a vegan salad and it’s just as tasty! Make it into a main dish: protein adders One of the things we like when we go out to eat is the ability to add protein to salads at many restaurants to make it into a meal! This strawberry salad works well with protein adders, since the savory protein compliments the sweet, juicy berries. Here are a few ideas of what we’d add here: Chicken like Parmesan crusted chicken, grilled chicken, or blackened chicken Salmon like baked salmon, pan seared salmon, or grilled salmon Tofu like baked tofu, crispy tofu, or grilled tofu Storage and make ahead notes Salads are notoriously suboptimal as leftovers, as they get soggy over time. For this reason, we like to plate individual salads when serving and simply drizzle the dressing over each plate or bowl. If making in advance, you can chop the components and store them refrigerated in separate individual containers. Directly before serving, allow the dressing to come to room temperature, then plate each salad. More homemade salad dressing recipes More homemade salad dressing recipes

Here are a few of our favorite homemade salad dressing recipes: Try tangy Strawberry Vinaigrette, Easy Vinaigrette or Dijon Mustard Dressing Mix up classics like Green Goddess Dressing, Caesar Dressing, or Ranch Dressing Find all our top Healthy Salad Dressings or learn How to Make Homemade Salad Dressing Dietary notes This strawberry salad recipe is vegetarian, gluten free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar free. For vegan, omit the cheese crumbles. Frequently asked questions What kind of strawberries are best for salad? Ripe but firm strawberries are ideal: it’s best to buy them in strawberry season! Local berries are the best choice when you can find them. Avoid soft or mushy berries that will break down in the salad. What can I add to my strawberry salad besides lettuce? The possibilities are endless! Popular additions include spinach, arugula, crumbled feta cheese, chopped pecans or walnuts, or blueberries. What kind of dressing is best for strawberry salad? A light and flavorful dressing is key. A Balsamic Vinaigrette works very well, or try Poppy Seed Dressing, Strawberry Vinaigrette, or Citrus Salad Dressing. Can I make this salad ahead of time? It’s best to assemble the salad just before serving to prevent the strawberries from getting soggy. However, you can prepare the dressing and other ingredients in advance. Strawberry Salad Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes Yield: 4 1x Description This easy strawberry salad recipe features a creamy homemade balsamic dressing and sweet ripe berries. It’s the perfect side dish! Ingredients For the salad 2 cups ripe strawberries 8 cups mixed salad greens (mix of spinach and lettuce) 1/2 red onion ⅓ cup pecan pieces, chopped walnuts, or sliced almonds* ⅓ cup feta cheese crumbles** Fresh ground black pepper Optional: make it a main dish with a protein adder*** For the balsamic vinaigrette 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 6 tablespoons olive oil Instructions Clean the strawberries and slice them. Wash and dry the salad greens. Thinly slice the red onion. To mellow the flavor, soak the onion slices in cold water for about 20 minutes prior to serving, then drain. Optional: In a small saucepan over medium heat, toast the nuts for a few minutes until they are golden brown, stirring frequently and watching carefully so that they don’t burn. Make the balsamic vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and kosher salt. Then gradually whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until fully emulsified and creamy. To serve, spread the greens on a plate and top with strawberries, red onion, nuts, feta cheese crumbles, vinaigrette, and several grinds of black pepper. Notes *If you have time, toasting the nuts is a great way to step up the flavors! Add the nuts to a dry skillet and toast for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Immediately remove to a plate. See How to Toast Pecans, How to Toast Almonds, or How to Toast Walnuts. Other variations on the nuts include hazelnuts, chopped pistachios, candied pecans, or candied walnuts. **Cheese is optional but adds a welcome savory contrast. We like feta cheese or goat cheese crumbles. Gorgonzola or Parmesan cheese also work. Omit cheese for a vegan salad and use maple syrup in the dressing. ***Consider adding protein to make it a main dish! Try chicken like Parmesan crusted chicken, grilled chicken, or blackened chicken, salmon like baked salmon, pan seared salmon, or grilled salmon, or tofu like baked tofu, crispy tofu, or grilled tofu. Leftover and make ahead tips: Salads are notoriously suboptimal as leftovers, as they get soggy over time. We like to plate individual salads when serving and simply drizzle the dressing over each plate or bowl. If making in advance, chop the components and store them refrigerated in separate individual containers. Directly before serving, allow the dressing to come to room temperature, then plate each salad. Other salad dressing options include Poppy Seed Dressing, Strawberry Vinaigrette, or Citrus Salad Dressing. Category: Side Dish Method: Raw Cuisine: Italian Keywords: Strawberry Salad, Strawberry Salad recipe

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