This weekend was a fun and busy one. Dinners with new friends and old friends, play dates, and running in Max and Jake's Big Race. Good times.
This Strawberry and Spinach Salad was one of my favorite dishes of the weekend. We added it to a meal with steak and corn on the cob, but would be great with just about anything. I used all fresh ingredients from the Golden Hill Farmer's market, which made it even better.
Strawberry & Spinach Salad
Serves 12 - (I usually cut this recipe in 1/2)
2 tbs. unsalted butter
2 c. pecan halves (or almonds)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbs Dijon mustard
6 tbs honey
1/2 c. raspberry vinegar
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
4 bunches fresh spinach, stems discarded, rinsed and drained
or 4 bags baby spinach
2 pts. strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered lengthwise
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. button mushrooms, stems trimmed and thinly sliced
Freshly Ground black pepper
1 tsp poppy seeds (optional)
To make Candied Pecans, melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over med-low heat. Add the pecans and sprinkle with sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until pecans begin to brown and sugar becomes candied on the surface, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove pecans and scatter in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet. Cool, chop and set aside.
To make vinaigrette, whisk together the mustard, honey, vinegar and olive oil.
Assemble salad by combining the spinach, strawberries, onion and mushrooms. Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to plates and scatter pecans and poppy seeds over the top.