Looking for a fresh summer salad? This Strawberry Spinach Salad with Roasted Pepitas is perfect for your next summer picnic or dinner on the deck!
Strawberry spinach salad with roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) is the perfect side salad for an alfresco dinner party or summer weekday meal. I’ve been anxious to share this recipe but wanted to wait for summer to be in full swing so we’d access to field-ripened berries.
Strawberry spinach salad with roasted pepitas is one of our favorite summer salads because it’s full of summer fruit, fresh spinach, and crunchy pepitas.
- It seems pretty simple, just strawberries and spinach, but really it’s more than that. Start with fresh produce. Make sure you find the best strawberries and freshest spinach you can get your hands on. Freshness is at the heart of this salad and where all the flavor comes from. Field berries are the best because they are allowed to ripen in the warm sunshine and not on a truck or produce section of your grocery store. If you don’t have a strawberry field nearby, look for local, organic berries. Sweeter berries spend less time in transit and more time ripening on the vine.
- For the spinach, make sure it’s supper fresh and take the time to remove damaged leaves (good for smoothies) and long stems. I like baby spinach leaves personally but go with whatever looks the freshest. I use salty, roasted pepitas on the salad but you can also use pine nuts if you’d like. Pepitas or pumpkin seeds are packed full of nutrition and contain healthy fats. I store my seeds and nuts in these jars to keep them fresh. If you’d like to read more about pantry storage, head over to this blog post!
Now on to the dressing
Olive oil is perfect for topping, drizzling, dipping, and for making salad dressings. Start with a half cup olive oil and than add a couple teaspoons of your favorite spicy mustard, diced shallot, maple syrup if you’d like, a little salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Next add a few teaspoons of red wine vinegar and/or apple cider vinegar. Pour into your salad dressing dispenser and give everything a good shake and then add enough dressing to coat your spinach leaves.
I like to toss my salad and dressing before I add anything. Once the spinach leaves are coated with yummy dressing, place the cut up strawberries on top. I use at least one heaping cup of strawberries so everyone has lots of berries on their plate. Last I sprinkle a generous amount of pepitas over the berries and greens.
This is a great salad for summer parties but it’s also makes a yummy lunch. You can add a side of protein if you’d like to add more calories to sustain you until dinner. If I was serving this at a dinner party I would probably start off with a summery cocktail like the French Elder and a batch of homemade hummus with toasted baguette. For the main course an option would be lemony artichoke pasta .. so good and very filling.
We also enjoy this mid-week detox salad. It’s delicious and although consider a ‘health salad’ I like to serve it to my guests in the summertime.
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- 3 cups washed spinach leaves
- 1 pint strawberries
- 1/3 cup roasted and salted papitas
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp spicy mustard
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 or 2 tsp shallot, diced
- Wash spinach and strawberries and set aside.
- To your favorite wooden salad bowl, add the spinach.
- Slice strawberries into small pieces. I usually cut each berry into 4 pieces.
- Prepare your salad dressing: combine olive oil, vinegar, salt, honey, mustard, and shallot to combine.
- Pour salad dressing over the spinach and toss to coat. Add more or less dressing as desired.
- Top salad with strawberries and pepitas.