MORE strawberry recipes? But of course! I cannot get enough of them right now, and luckily I cannot run out of ideas for them, either. While I do have an excuse (May is National Salad Month), I’m so in love with strawberries that I’ll shout it to the world!
Have you ever tried adding strawberries to your salad? It’s like drinking a glass of fruit-flavored water when you bite into a strawberry with your savory salad. You think “is this dessert or dinner?” and then you realize it’s both and you think you’ve just figured out the secret to world peace or something.
Driscoll’s Berries are what I reach for at the grocery store. I’m always pleased with the quality and taste of the berries. I received some coupons in the mail and used them immediately. On strawberries, of course.
For this salad, I added blue cheese and bacon, two flavors that enhance each other when combined. If you’re weary of blue cheese due to a previously bad blue cheese dressing experience, fear not – when you mix blue cheese with bacon, onion, citrus, and strawberries, the blue cheese becomes complementary and not so pungent.
Homemade croutons are a must, and they’re too easy NOT to do. Pick up a french bread from the store on your way home, or use the white bread you use for sandwiches.
And the vinaigrette? Citrus from the lemon and the tang of dijon add another layer of depth to this already flavorful salad. It’s light enough that it won’t overpower the flavor of the salad ingredients, but will tie them into a web of sweet, salt and tang that wakes up your taste buds. A perfectly light spring or summer salad.
Strawberry Salad with Homemade Croutons and Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of one small lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 bunch spinach, stems removed
- 1/4 red onion or shallot, sliced thin
- 2 ounces blue cheese crumbles
- 1 package Driscoll’s Strawberries
- 3 slices of white bread
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk the red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper together. Set aside in the refrigerator while you assemble the salad.
Make the croutons: Preheat the oven to broil and line a baking sheet with foil. Slice the bread into 1-inch cubes and arrange them on the baking sheet in a single layer. Spray the bread with cooking spray, then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Shake and turn the cubes over, repeating the process. Bake for 2-3 minutes, checking frequently to prevent them from burning.
Assemble the salad: Wash the spinach and remove the leaves from the stems. Leave the leaves whole unless they’re really big. Add the thin slices of onion, blue cheese, Driscoll Strawberries, crispy bacon pieces and croutons. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette on top.