Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Balsamic/Honey Vinaigrette


A few months back I was in San Francisco for work and got a chance to visit the Ferry Building. I browsed the many food shops there and had lunch at the Slanted Door. If you have any interest in food at all and are in San Francisco, you must go to the Ferry Building. Inside you'll find artisan cheeses at Cowgirl Creamery, a shop that carries nothing but mushrooms from all around the world another with hundreds of oils, and one with chocolate like you've never had before.

In one of the shops I got the opportunity to taste balsamic vinegars. Yes, I'm serious, a balsamic tasting. What was incredible was the variety available. This education led me to search for a good aged balsamic. I found some 12-year old that poured like molasses and had both sweet and tangy flavors.

I used it to make the dressing for this salad, that was otherwise very simple. It was a delicious light side to what was an otherwise heavier meal. The salad and dressing was only 78 calories, with 6 grams of fat and 1 of fiber. If you're worried about fat intake, substitute chicken broth for half the oil or make it a creamy dressing and substitute non-fat Greek yogurt.

Let's eat!

Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Balsamic/Honey Vinaigrette
Makes 10 servings
Ingredients
10 ounces baby spinach
10 ounces sliced strawberries (divided)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup quality balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon warmed honey

Directions:
To make the vinaigrette, combine balsamic, shallot, garlic and one of the strawberries (crushed). Slowly whisk in the oil. Combine spinach, strawberries and dressing, serve immediately.

If your not going to eat this all at one serving, pour a little of the dressing over individual servings instead of mixing it all together.

Deal of the Day: You can order 12-year-old balsamic vinegar online if it isn't available to you locally. I know it's expensive, but, trust me, it's worth it.

20 comments:

Christina said...

Mmm this is one of my favorite flavor profiles! They all just pair so beautifully together. The first time I had it was when my Grammy and I got all dressed up to eat at "my brother's restaurant" - one where he worked as a dishwasher when he was about 14 or 15. They sat us right by the kitchen so we could peek in and see him. The salad came out and it was a spinach salad w/ strawberries and a balsamic dressing. I had never seen strawberries on a salad, so I was a bit skeptical but fell in love! They also paired it with these teeny tiny lemon poppyseed muffins which were kind of like makeshift croutons - 3 or 4 on ea. salad.

DailyChef said...

I love the Ferry Building! Slanted Door is quite good, but if you get a chance to visit again for lunch, try Delica. It's a Japanese deli, and their wasabi potato salad is delightful.

DailyChef said...

I love the Ferry Building! Slanted Door is quite good, but if you get a chance to go back for lunch, check out Delica - it's a Japanese deli, and their wasabi potato salad is quite good.

Casey Angelova said...

This looks delicious. I have a strawberry plant which is coming along nicely!

KKSC2NC said...

This sounds so good. Especially, this time of year. I've been a little scared of balsamic vinegar perhaps I will have to revisit it.

Barbara @ moderncomfortfood said...

This looks to be another wonderful recipe. Will try, and thanks for sharing it!

Biren said...

I love balsamic vinegar and aged balsamic is great! Very lovely salad :)

katiez said...

I was just thinking about this salad - what perfect timing!

Scott K said...

What great comments, thanks all!

Winnie said...

This looks really amazing!

Kenzie @ A Healthy Purpose said...

A balsamic tasting!? wow. salad looks delicious.

Michelle said...

I was in my first Vinegar and Olive Oil store about 6 years ago and it was so much fun. I think I bought $200 worth of flavored oil and vinegar. They were all so good, I just had to have them. I especially like the fruit vinegars and add Strawberry Balsamic to many salad dressing and even frosting!

redkathy said...

Hey Scott, not much experience with San Fran or balsamic vinegar. I have used it here and there and love to sprinkle fried potatoes with it, but that's about it. Your salad sounds (and looks) great!

Lora said...

How long can you keep the dressing?

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

A really gorgeous looking salad and so healthy! I love balsamic vinegar paired with strawberry, so this is right up my alley!

Scott K said...

Thanks all of you!

Lora, I wouldn't be afraid of keeping it for a week, refrigerated. You'll need to reblend it, but it should still be good. Vinegar is a preservative.

Mother Rimmy said...

I was there for a business conference. You are so right, I enjoyed wandering the shops. The balsamic had to take this dressing over the top!

Angel Santos said...

Nice picture and simple to do. Great work.

miri goes phishing! said...

Hi Scott...i tried out this recipe after seeing it here and loved the results....i have posted it up on my blog with a special thanks to you...:)

Aldo Juicer Expert said...

Wow! Strawberry salad sounds very very nice. I was interested to try it, I've only processed strawberry to be a balsamic strawberry ice cream or smoothies. Thank you for this delicious recipe.

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