It's Berry Time!

You guys, this summer-like "heat wave" in Vancouver these past couple of days has me really craving and making so many fresh, fast and delish favorites! It's very early in the season, but haven't the strawberries been amazing? Peak season is typically April - July, but we are definitely getting some fresh sweet goodness up from California (it's definitely too early for BC's strawberries). One of my absolute favorite salads in the warmer temps is one with fresh berries. It's perfect as a main for lunch or goes with almost any main dish, particularly a fresh-from-the-butcher cut of steak, or a lovely Halibut (which is also in season and so yummy on these spring nights!). Disclaimer: I did NOT invent this, so I'm simply passing on a favorite that someone else mastered for me, with a couple of my own substitutions. :)

Berry Feta Spinach Salad with Creamy Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

PREP TIME: 15 minutes     COOK TIME: 5 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients

Berry Spinach Salad

  • 10 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced**
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced then quartered
  • 1 sweet apple, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 kiwi peeled, sliced and quartered (optional)

Creamy Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 1 5.3 oz. container strawberry yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (optional: substitute sour cream for plain greek yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (optional: substitute with honey or maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry minced onion flakes (optional)


Garnishes

  • 1/2 recipe Caramelized roasted and salted pistachios (click HERE)
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. Caramelize pistachios according to directions. Set aside.*
  2. Add all of the Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing Ingredients (EXCEPT the poppy seeds and sesame seeds) to your blender; blend until smooth. Add poppy seeds and sesame seeds and pulse until combined. For a thinner dressing, add additional milk if desired. Store in the refrigerator while you prepare salad.
  3. Combine Spinach Salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If serving entire salad immediately, drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss to coat. If there might be leftovers, drizzle dressing on individual salad servings. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

*The Caramelized Nuts recipe is for 1 cup nuts. You can prepare 1 whole cup (because you will eat them!) or simply half all the ingredients.
**You can swap out the strawberries for raspberries to make this a winter in season salad too!

Enjoy Lovelies!