A 1-bowl summer strawberry salad with a simple balsamic dressing. Loaded with fresh sweet strawberries, bright mint, creamy vegan feta, satisfying spinach, and crunchy almonds tossed with a simple balsamic dressing, this salad is summer in a bowl.
Why you’ll love it
Salads are so fresh and versatile. They’re the perfect light summer lunch or addition to a dinnertime cookout. This summer strawberry salad with balsamic dressing has it all going on because it’s got everything you could want in a salad. It’s:
- Simple and
To make this summertime salad you are only going to need 10 simple ingredients that you probably already have on-hand. Especially if it happens to be summer.
Spinach- The base of this salad is spinach but feel free to use any lettuce that you find appealing, or that you have in the fridge. Arugula and kale would work well here. Just be sure that if you use kale you massage it well with olive oil before adding the dressing.
Almonds- I used slivered almonds just to keep it light, but feel free to add whole almonds for even more crunch. Pistachios would also work well here. And if you have a nut allergy, I would highly recommend using roasted chickpeas instead. They will provide a fantastic crunch as well as protein.
Vegan feta- I have yet to find a store-bought feta that I love. So I make my own using this recipe from Erin Ireland. It’s simple, just make sure that you prepare it ahead of time because it needs to firm up overnight in the refrigerator.
Strawberries- I cannot stress enough that you use ripe, juicy strawberries in this recipe. Not only are they the star of the salad, but they are also going to be used to sweeten the dressing. If your strawberries aren’t particularly sweet you may want to add a drop or two of maple or agave syrup to the dressing.
When preparing the dressing you have two options. The first is my personal favorite: grab a small food processor and throw in all the dressing ingredients. Blend until smooth.
If, however, you want to keep this a 1-bowl dish or you don’t have a small blender/food processor this is what you’ll wanna do…In a large bowl add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, dijon mustard, and any salt and pepper you wish to add. Give all that a good whisk. Then, using a fork or a potato masher, mash in the strawberries until you’ve reached your desired consistency. You may need to whisk the dressing again before adding in the greens and other salad ingredients.
Once you’re dressing is ready, throw in the greens and other salad ingredients and gently toss to coat. This salad is amazing as a side for your vegan barbecue or as a stand-alone meal. Add tempeh or beans to up the protein and you’ve got yourself a fantastic light summertime lunch.
I hope that you love this salad as much as I do! Be sure to let me know what you think down in the comments. Enjoy friends!
Ingredient Health Benefits
Almonds- protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron
Avocado- monounsaturated fat, protein, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin K
Onion- antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, folate
Spinach- fiber, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, folate, vitamin B, vitamin A, glycolipids (cancer cell growth suppressors)
Strawberries- vitamin C, folate, potassium, fiber, phenolics, antioxidants
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Summer Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Dressing
- Blender or Food Processor (optional)
Summer Strawberry Salad
- 7 oz fresh spinach
- 6-8 large fresh mint leaves, sliced
- ¼ cup almonds, sliced
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ pound fresh strawberries, stems removed, halved or quartered
- 1 ripe avocado, cubed
- ⅓ cup vegan feta, crumbled
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt & pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup fresh strawberries, stems removed
- If you want a completely smooth dressing, add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, garlic, ¼ cup strawberries, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender. Process/blend until smooth.
- If you prefer a chuncky dressing, add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon musartd, garlic, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Using a potato masher or a fork, add ¼ cup sliced strawberries and mash into the liquid dressing. Continue to mash the strawberries until desired consistancy is reached.
- Add the remaining salad ingredeints to the bowl as follows: spinach, mint, pistachios/almonds, and red onions. Toss to coat.
- Finally, top with fresh sliced strawberries, cubed avocado, and crumbled vegan feta cheese. Gently toss and serve. Garnish with more fresh mint if desired.