It’s late winter, which means it’s strawberry season here in Southwest Florida. We’ve been feasting on beautiful, sweet, strawberries for a few weeks now. I wish I could share the aroma with you. Sniff one and it’s like heaven to your senses — rich, sweet, berries. They’re grown nearby in Plant City, so they’re super fresh and ripe. Yum!
While we love the berries, after a couple of weeks, it’s time to start to look for new ways to serve them. My good friend Thais sent me a text the other night, “I macerated some strawberries in balsamic vinegar and honey. It was great and only took 10 minutes.” Hmmm, honey and vinegar? That sounds interesting.
The next day I tried it, and Oh My Goodness, is that GOOD! My 2-year old Grayson and I devoured them. But, I wanted more, and I wanted to try it in a meal. I actually found myself thinking about those berries throughout the evening. It needed greens, cheese, and something solid, nuts maybe?
The next day we made them again, and threw in some blackberries too. (Those are always in season at Costco, right?) Delish, again! After soaking the berries for about 10 minutes, I pulled them out, added a little bit of olive oil to the vinegar and honey, whisked it up and poured it over a bowl of spinach, feta cheese and roasted cashews.
Add the berries back in, toss it up and voila! A healthy, filling low-carb meal. If you’re into that sort of thing. I was a gestational diabetic and I now find myself calculating carbs even though I no longer need to worry about controlling my blood sugar. Even if you aren’t a carb counter, this salad has great health benefits – lots of fiber, the spinach is a great source of Vitamins A, C, B-6, magnesium, calcium and iron; the berries are full of Vitamin C and antioxidants; the cashews have protein and healthy fat; and the olive oil also has antioxidants and healthy fat.
You could add grilled chicken or pork for a more substantial meal.
So, this blog is about feeding your family fun, creative, fast meals; and this meal did that for me. My husband inhaled the salad even after he said he didn’t want any. My sons don’t eat salad greens of any sort, but they ate the rest of the components – berries, feta cheese and roasted cashews, and I was pretty happy with that. Oh, and did I mention it took about 15 minutes to make?
And it was delicious?
And so pretty!
Strawberry-Blackberry Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 cup fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh blackberries
2 Tbls balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 tsp olive oil
4 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
1/4 cup roasted cashews
Trim and cut the strawberries into bite sized pieces. Wash the blackberries but keep whole. Pat dry.
Mix the vinegar and honey, then toss in the berries and mix to coat. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the berries are soaking, put the spinach, feta and cashews in a medium bowl. When the berries are done soaking, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the vinegar mixture and add them to the salad. Then add the olive oil to the remaining vinegar mixture and whisk to mix, then pour over the salad. Toss the coat the greens evenly. Divide the salad between two plates and serve with warm bread.
This recipe serves two adults and two little ones, or two adults who don’t feel like sharing. 😉 Adding a grilled chicken breast or pork chop would make a full meal too.