Strawberry season is in full swing here in Western New York. Local strawberries are only available for such a limited time – I get so excited when I can finally enjoy them! See strawberries are supposed to be small and red and juicy – not those humongous things that come from sent from California. Notice how red they are inside – no white flavorless centers.
With the first quart that I bought – I wanted to make this salad. It was so simple and I knew I would love the flavor combination of sweet berries, creamy goat cheese and crunchy almonds. I was also really excited to use this bottle of Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar that I had bought just a few months earlier.
This salad definitely did not disappoint – it was so refreshing – really a perfect summer salad. Now, if only Strawberry season would last longer that a few weeks.
The dressing was a (strawberry) balsamic vinaigrette – which was the perfect accompaniment to the sweetness of the berries and the candied almonds. Definitely make the almonds in advance if you want to save some time at dinner.
I ended up serving this as a side to a simple grilled salmon fillet – but honestly it was so good I could have this as a meal in itself. And that is exactly what I did for lunch the next day. Enjoy!
For the salad
- 4 cups baby spinach, washed
- 1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
- 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
For the candied almond brittle
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
For the vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (fell free to use flavored if you have it!)
- 2 Tbsp. cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch granulated sugar
- Pinch sea salt
1. For the candied almond brittle: In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar and water and continuously stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Using a silicone or pastry brush dipped in water, brush the sides of the saucepan to dissolve any sugar that adheres to the sides of the pan.
2. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, continuing to brush down the sides of the saucepan as needed.
3. Continue to boil the mixture, swirling the saucepan occasionally, until the mixture is golden brown, about 8-9 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and quickly add the sliced almonds, stirring to thoroughly coat.
5. Pour the mixture onto a foil lined baking sheet, breaking up the almond pieces with a fork. Let cool completely.
6. For the vinaigrette: Combine the vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl and whisk to emulsify. Add the sugar and salt, to taste.
7. Once the candied almond brittle has hardened and cooled completely, distribute the spinach evenly in the serving bowls and assemble with the strawberries, goat cheese, candied almond brittle, and vinaigrette.
Source: adapted from The Curvy Carrot