Last night I tried my hand at salad-making and put together a Strawberry & Toasted Pecan Salad. This is not so much because I am a fancy Master of Salads but is much more related to the fact that unless a salad is disguised as Not a Salad, I view it with deep suspicion and mild loathing.
I want to like salads, and many a depressed head of lettuce has rotted it’s days away in solitary confinement in my veggie drawer, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I want to eat more salad, I’m going to have to tempt/lure/trick myself. Look, a strawberry! Pay no attention to the green stuff. This salad looked and tasted pretty delicious and is perfect for spring, so I thought I’d share the recipe. I wrote it to serve two, but it can be easily doubled or tripled or… you get the idea.
Strawberry & Toasted Pecan Salad
- A sufficient amount of greens. I used half a head of Romaine and some young Black-Seeded Simpson lettuce from my patio garden, but I think baby spinach would be a delicious substitution.
- 8-10 strawberries
- 1/3 cup pecan halves
- Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette dressing
- Wash the lettuce and spin off excess moisture in a salad spinner, before tearing lettuce into bite-size pieces. (This is my least favorite part. I don’t know why I hate washing lettuce when it’s so easy, but I do). Toss it in your salad bowl.
- Pour the pecans into a skillet over medium heat and toast, tossing occasionally, until you just begin to smell a nutty aroma and they seem… well… toasty (about 5-7 minutes). Give them a quick rough chop or throw them in as is.
- Wash, hull, and slice your strawberries over the salad.
- Drizzle as much dressing over the top as you desire (I like to have a little salad with my dressing).
As you can see, it’s so easy and simple it hardly calls for a recipe, and I’m sure you can think of plenty of ways to make it your own. I’ve tried this salad with candied pecans (for a quick and very easy tutorial, click here), but personally, I prefer the pecans just toasted, since the strawberries and dressing already add a bit of sweetness. If you have some feta cheese on hand, especially if you choose to make this salad with spinach, I’m sure that would add some delicious saltiness.
The dressing really makes the salad. I’m sure you could substitute a balsamic vinaigrette and it would be delicious with the strawberries, but really recommend the blush wine vinaigrette. It’s amazing.
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Do you all have any favorite salad recipes (in particular, ones that make you forget you’re eating a salad)? ;) I could really use some more suggestions. I’m trying to be mature and responsible and make salads with dinner, but it’s hard to get excited about a bowl of leaves with a bit of tomato and carrot on top (how depressing!). Do you have any tricks for making salads more fun?