Roasted Strawberry Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

I know, I know.  You’re thinking “Ah the ubiquitous strawberry salad”. You’re thinking of those sad restaurant ones that every chain place has that are so sad-a few strawberries, a bit of spinach, sweetened up nuts, maybe a little cheese and a vinaigrette.  It’s insulting to the strawberries if you ask me.  Those are NOT this salad. I wanted better.  I wanted it to be more my way.  After roasting rhubarb for (this recipe) dessert a while ago I got to thinking-why not roast strawberries for the salad? Why not have both roasted and fresh strawberries in the salad? 2 different versions. Yum!  Feel free to up or less as you please-the amounts below are just how much I used. You like more cheese? Be my guest! I’ll never think badly of  anyone who wants to add more cheese. Dont’ like nuts? Perhaps some carrot or celery or crisp apple to replace the crunch. So I hope you love it. It certainly put a new spin on this for me.

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Roasted Strawberry Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, patted dry, tops removed, cut in halves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • sprinkle freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups walnut halves, toasted
  • 1 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 cups baby spinach, washed and patted dry

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup whole fresh raspberries, washed and gently patted dry
  • 4 strawberry halves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp honey (to taste)
  • a pinch or 2 of sugar if needed

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Take half of the strawberries and lay them on half of the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar.  With your hands move them around a bit to make sure they’re all olive oiled.
  3. On the other half of the baking sheet place the walnuts.
  4. Roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Let them cool.
  5. While they are cooling make the dressing. Add all ingredients above to a bowl and use a stick blender to combine. Add more or less honey depending on the tartness of the raspberries and strawberries. If it’s still too tart a sprinkle of sugar should be added.
  6. Assemble the salad starting with the spinach then half of the roasted and fresh strawberries, half of the walnuts, half of the cheese and dressing as desired.

Makes 2 servings.

See? The walnuts and strawberries are happy to roast together.

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