Oh how I adore strawberry season! Cheap, plump berries for all!
I love tossing fresh fruits into salads for a bright pop of color and sweet juicy flavor. This Strawberry Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans is one of my favorites because it’s so simple to make and pairs perfectly with just about anything! Especially during grilling season!
I’ll bring this salad to pot lucks or over to a friend’s house for dinner and it ALWAYS receives rave reviews.
I serve it with a balsamic vinaigrette, but I’m usually too pressed for time to make my own so I just use the bottled variety. If I’m making it to share with friends I’ll pour the dressing into a small mason jar to give the impression that I made the dressing too… is that cheating?
Look, I love a good homemade dressing, but when you’re in a pinch the store bought stuff will suffice.
I have even used store bought candied pecans to make this salad before, BUT this time I’ll show you how simple these candied pecans are to make. Technically you could make half a batch for this salad, but I double it so that I can snack on the pecans…
Those pecans go quickly.
So does this salad.
I used soft goat cheese here, but a good feta cheese would work as well. Feta is more salty with a bit of a bite to it, where the goat cheese is more subtle in flavor with a creamy texture. Either one will work, so go with whatever tickles your taste buds!
You’ll love every aspect of this beautiful salad, I just know it!
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 6 oz baby spinach leaves
- 1½ cups sliced strawberries, stems removed
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese (or feta cheese if desired)
- balsamic vinaigrette (I used Litehouse dressing for this salad)
- Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Toss in the pecans and brown sugar, stirring to coat. Cook over medium heat until the sugar begins to caramelize (about 3 minutes). Spread out pecans on a wax paper lined baking sheet to cool.
- In your salad bowl layer the spinach leaves, strawberries, goat cheese and pecans. Don't pour dressing on salad until ready to serve. Enjoy!