Spinach Strawberry Salad with Homemade Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Homemade Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

This salad is bright and fresh and super-uper delicious. But the dressing? Oh my. It’s really the star. Sorry spinach and strawberries and almonds and even you little delightful crispy wonton strips. I’m just stating the facts.

I wanted a fun, new salad for the upcoming Easter holiday (I got nicely ridiculed on Facebook for already planning my Easter menu, but really, how can you judge a girl who constantly has food on the brain?) and this is no question the salad that will be gracing our Easter dinner menu.

Strawberries and spinach are a match made in heaven, if you didn’t know. Toss those colorful beauties with toasted almonds and then drizzle with this divine dressing and you have a real winner. Oh, and if you really want to live life on the edge, crisp up some delicate wonton strips and throw those on top of the salad. Ohmyheavenlycombination.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Homemade Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

Let’s talk about this dressing for a minute. I’ve been playing around with a homemade creamy poppy seed dressing for a while now. I wanted to break away from the mayo-based salad dressings that are so popular. I like mayo in other things, in moderation, but I wanted this dressing a bit lighter – both in taste and calories. I am thrilled with how this dressing turned out with a bit of Greek yogurt for creaminess to play off the sweet tartness of the other ingredients. If you, like me, are worried that the yogurt might get a little weird (think: curdled) mixed with the vinegar. Never fear! If you add the ingredients together and immediately shake your little heart out – I mean it, shake, baby, shake! – then you’ll be just fine.

The dressing is slightly thinner than commercial or mayo-based creamy poppy seed dressings but let me tell you, it is so perfectly sweet and tart and creamy and yummy, it will win you over. P.S. It would be delicious on just about any salad; it doesn’t just play favorites with this awesome combination of spinach and strawberries, although I highly recommend you start here if you want stellar salad of the year euphoria.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Homemade Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

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Spinach Strawberry Salad with Homemade Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

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Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 6-7 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2-3 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds
  • Optional: fried wonton strips

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Directions:

  1. For the salad, place the spinach in a large bowl. Top with the strawberries and almonds and lightly toss.
  2. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients together in a jar, close with a lid, and shake like crazy until well combined and smooth. You could also use a blender, but don’t add the poppy seeds until all the other ingredients have been blended – stir in the poppy seeds at the end.
  3. Toss the salad with the dressing or serve the dressing on the side. The dressing will keep, well covered, in the refrigerator for at least a week. Serve the salad with crispy wontons on top, if desired.
  4. For the fried wontons, heat 1/2 cup or so of vegetable or canola oil in a stainless steel skillet until it is hot (and sizzles when you test a piece of the wonton). Cut small, square wonton wrappers into thin strips and fry in the oil until crisp, about 20-30 seconds each side. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle very lightly with salt. Let cool before topping the salad.

Notes:

If you don’t have Greek plain yogurt, you can substitute non-Greek plain yogurt, however, it will make the dressing slightly more runny so be sure to drain off any excess whey/liquid before adding it to the dressing.

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Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe