Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette, Feta, and Candied Pecans

By our Recipe Contributor, Becky Spoolstra

This salad is a little naughty and a lot of nice! The spinach, berries, and homemade vinaigrette will make you feel super healthy and the candied pecans are a sweet addition.

Ingredients

For the dressing:

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup water

1/8 teaspoon salt

▪  Dash of pepper

For the candied pecans:

2 Tablespoon butter

1 cup pecan halves

3 Tablespoon sugar

For the salad:

Baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried if needed

Sliced strawberries, for topping

Feta cheese crumbles

Directions

1. To make the dressing, simply combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. (add a little more berries or sugar to taste if you think it needs more sweetness)

2. To make the candied pecans, melt the butter in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Toss in the sugar and pecans, stirring to evenly coat. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until the sugar begins to caramelize and the pecans brown. Spread the pecans out on a lined baking sheet to cool.

3. To serve, arrange the spinach on a plate or in a salad bowl and add the candied pecans, feta crumbles, and sliced strawberries. Drizzle on the vinaigrette when youre ready to eat. Feel free to have a heavy hand with the dressing and enjoy!

Notes:

Recipe makes enough dressing and candied pecans for at least 4 salads. Or 1-2 jumbo salads if youre extra hungry!

Sliced grilled chicken makes an excellent addition to this salad if you want it to be more filling. Goat cheese would also be tasty as a substitute for feta.

Candied pecan recipe originally from here and vinaigrette recipe adapted from here.