Spinach Strawberry Salad with Almonds

Description

This is a fresh, light salad perfect for the spring and summer seasons.  If you want to add a bit of protein you can sprinkle some feta or goat cheese over top.  Adding grilled chicken or salmon will make this salad a hearty, healthy meal!  Go ahead and experiment with your tastes!

 *Using a sweeter homemade dressing will complement the berries in this salad!

Ingredients

1 package of fresh baby spinach (we bought our spinach from the Covent Garden Market in bags.  Spinach is available in containers, bags or just loose at most grocery stores and markets – If buying loose baby spinach, a few handfuls should be good – judge according to how many people you are serving)

1 pint of fresh strawberries sliced into bit-sized pieces (we bought our strawberries at the Covent Garden Market.  Strawberries are available at most grocery stores and markets – when purchasing a pint, inspect it to make sure there are no mouldy berries in the pint or else that mould can quickly spread to other berries!)

½ cup to 1 cup of sliced or slivered almonds depending on the amount you prefer (you can purchase almonds whole and cut them yourself, however, there are packages of slivered or sliced almonds available at most grocery stores.  Bulk stores should carry them as well) (In the case of a nut allergy, sunflower seeds or dried Asian noodles will give the same crunch!)

Directions

  1. Wash the spinach and dry it with a towel or using a salad spinner if available and place the spinach in a large bowl. (Be sure to dry off excess water because the dressing won’t “stick” as well to the spinach if it is wet)
  2. Cut the strawberries into halves, quarters, or slices depending on your preference and place them into the bowl with the spinach. (Instead of trimming the ends off of the strawberries you can use a plastic straw; holding the berry firmly, poke a hole from the bottom of the berry to the top using the straw and the end should pop off – this is a tip from Rachel Ray that minimizes the waste from each berry!)
  3. Chop the almonds and gently toast them in a dry frying pan over low heat. (You will know they are toasted when they turn slightly brown and appear dry.  You can also smell them “toasting”)
  4. Sprinkle the toasted almonds over top of the spinach and strawberries.
  5. Pour your favourite homemade dressing over top of the salad, toss, and enjoy!