Spinach Strawberry Walnut Salad, the perfect summer salad. With goat’s cheese, avocado and orange and poppy seed dressing this is a real show stopper!
My husband calls me the queen of salads. Well, I do make a lot of salads, even before we switched to a vegetarian diet, salads have always been one of my favourite things to make. I especially can’t help myself this time of the year, even if the weather is a bit dismal here, I just want to make, and more importantly, eat good salads! The thing is, I don’t believe in boring salads, especially if it’s the main meal. Salad for dinner really needs to be two things, it needs to taste great and it needs to fill you up. This is the aim with all of my salads on this blog, they are all made with the intention that they will sustain you for dinner. This strawberry spinach salad with poppy seeds dressing is no different.
How to Make Strawberry Spinach Walnut Salad
- Make the dressing, this is an easy dressing. Just add everything to a jar with a very tight fitting lid, and shake it. Give it a very good shake, like you’re making a cocktail 😉 Once everything is combined leave the jar in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
- Assemble Your Salad! Have you seen the new Avengers movie? We’re going tomorrow, I’m so excited!! Right, onto the salad. Add the baby spinach to a large salad bowl, then add in the scallions (spring onions) cucumber, celery, walnuts, and seeds.
- Toss well.
- This assembly comes in a few parts as you don’t want the avocado or the goat’s cheese turning to mush. So add the avocado and crumble the goat’s cheese over the salad. Then give it a little toss, just a gentle nudge so they both fall into the spinach.
- Add the Strawberries, tumble the strawberries onto the salad and let them fall into place. Resist the temptation to toss now, they will be fine sitting on top.
- Pour over the dressing, pour the dressing over everything. Give the leaves a little lift with the salad servers, again no tossing. I sometimes just leave the dressing on the table for everyone to pour it themselves, I’m not being lazy, just some salads are best dressed this way, this one suits it both ways, drenched in the bowl or on the plate, it’s a personal preference so you decide.
- Serve immediately.
Tips for Making your Best Ever Strawberry Spinach Salad:
- Use baby spinach, it’s more tender and not as strong as the grown-up version!
- Hull your strawberries! Do this by using a small sharp knife, hold the strawberry in one hand, with your other hand insert the tip of the knife into the strawberry at a 45° angle. Rotate the knife around the core leafy bit until you have removed the top. Or cut the strawberries in half lengthways and using the same sharp knife cut into the core leafy bit at a 45° angle on one side then the other until you have removed the white fleshy core.
- Use freshly squeezed orange juice for your dressing, it’s just so much nicer, trust me!
- Don’t toss too much, if you toss that avocado and the goat’s cheese too much it will get soggy and melt into the dressing, you really don’t want that.
Storing and Making Ahead
This salad really is best made fresh, however, if you are bringing this to a BBQ or the like, then assemble the salad up to step 3 above. Add the avocado, goat’s cheese and strawberries when you get there, it will take two minutes. You can make the dressing the day before. Just store that in the fridge and give it a very good shake before you add it to the salad. The dressing should only be added just before you serve it. The complete salad is best eaten straight away, it doesn’t keep very well in the fridge, things get a bit soggy. So the best way to avoid this is to serve the dressing separately, if you do this there will be no soggy things in your salad. It will then keep for a day or two covered in your fridge.
More Show-Stopping Salads:
- Roast Mediterranean Vegetables
- Moroccan Couscous Recipe
- Broccoli Pasta Salad
- Greek Chickpea Salad with Spinach
- Taco Salad
Spinach Strawberry Walnut Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
For the Salad
- 4 cups of baby spinach (110g/3.9oz)
- 2 cups of strawberries (290g/100z) hulled and cut in half, larger strawberries cut into quarters
- 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
- 1 cup chopped cucumber (150g/5.3oz)
- 1 large ripe avocado cut into large chunks
- 4 radishes thinly sliced
- 3 large scallions (spring onions) the white and light green part, sliced
- 1/3 cup of walnut halves (45g/1.7oz)
- 1 x 4oz log of semi-soft goat's cheese (110g)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (35g/1.2oz) optional
Orange and Poppy Seed Dressing
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (118ml)
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice from 1 large orange (80ml)
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 1/2 heaped tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
Make the Orange and Poppy Seed Dressing
- Add all the ingredients to a jar with a tightly fitting lid. Shake very well. Leave in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
- Add all the salad ingredients except the avocado, goat's cheese and strawberries.Toss well.
- Now add the avocado, crumble in the goat's cheese and just toss very gently.
- Drop the strawberries on top of the salad. Pour the dressing over everything then serve immediately.
- Nutritional information is approximate and calculated using an online tool. It is based on a serving of 4 as a main meal including all the dressing.
- Make it vegan, ditch the cheese and swap the honey for maple syrup.
- The leaves, baby spinach is best for this salad, they are more tender and less strong in flavour. They are a sturdy leaf so will hold up to the weight of the strawberries.
- The nuts and seeds, I like crunch in my salads, and I feel that walnuts are the perfect match for this one. However, you can omit both the nuts and the seeds and the salad will still be great.
- The dressing, you don't have to use all the dressing if you don't want to. I sometimes like to add it separately on the plate. If you have any leftover keep it in a jar with a lid in the fridge, it will last for 4 or 5 days.
- Storing and making ahead, this salad really is best made fresh and is best eaten straight away. You can make the dressing the day before if you want.