Strawberry Salad with Pecans & Feta

In a recent post, Keys to Making Fresh Asparagus Salad with Pecans, I mentioned that one sign of spring’s arrival is the presence of fresh, tender asparagus at the grocery store. Yet another sign of spring is the arrival of fresh, fragrant, juicy red strawberries to the grocery store or produce stand. One of my favorite salads to prepare during the spring months, when strawberries are at their peak flavor, is Strawberry Salad with Pecans and Feta Cheese. Strawberry Salad is a wonderful, “company-worthy” salad, and it’s visually appealing with the beautiful contrast of the green leaves with the redness of the berries.

Strawberry Salad with Pecans and Feta Cheese has the saltiness of feta cheese contrasted with the sweetness of the strawberries and the crunchiness of the toasted pecans. What a wonderful combination of flavors! I really like homemade salad dressings, and this salad dressing  really enhances the salad.

Step One: Toast the Pecans & Cap the Berries


Toasting nuts really brings out their flavor! Nuts can be toasted in a skillet on top of the stove or placed in the oven at 350°F. for 5 minutes or so. Keep a close eye on the nuts while they are toasting because they can go from “just right” to “burnt” in just the blink of an eye!

While the pecans are toasting, cap the berries and slice them into halves or quarters, to your preference.

Step Two: Prepare the Salad Dressing

To make the salad dressing for the Strawberry Salad, place the dressing ingredients in a glass jar or bottle with a lid and shake well. The salad dressing is made of white wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper and fresh or dried dill. Honey, agave or your favorite sweetener can be substituted for the sugar in this dressing recipe.

Step Three: Combine the Salad Ingredients

In a large bowl, combine the spring mix salad greens, strawberries, crumbled feta cheese and toasted pecans. (Optional: If you like bacon, you can add it too. I tried it with bacon and I liked it!) Add the salad dressing just prior to when you want to serve the Strawberry Salad and give it a good toss to distribute the dressing evenly over the salad.

The Recipe

Strawberry Salad with Pecans & Feta Cheese
Serves 6
Sweet strawberries at their seasonal peak contrasts wonderfully with this savory and salty salad.
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Dressing
  1. 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  2. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 tablespoon sugar (or less)
  4. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  5. Salt & Pepper to taste
Salad
  1. 6 cups spring mix salad greens
  2. 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  3. 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  4. Optional: 4 slices bacon, fried, drained & crumbled
Instructions
  1. Dressing: Whisk together vinegar, oil, sugar, dill, salt and pepper. (Or place the ingredients in a jar or bottle with a lid and give it a good shake!)
  2. Salad: Toss strawberries, greens, pecans, feta cheese and bacon (if using) with dressing.
Adapted from Cuisine at Home
Adapted from Cuisine at Home
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

 Tips for Preparing Strawberries

Strawberries need to remain on the plant to fully ripen because they don’t continue to ripen after being picked. When choosing strawberries choose red, ripe fruit, not the berries with patches of yellow or white on them. Strawberries maintain their nutritional value for only a few days so buy them just before you plan to eat them to maintain optimal nutrition, flavor and color.

Since they are very perishable, strawberries should not be washed until right before eating or using in a recipe. Do not remove their caps and stems until after you have gently washed the berries under cold running water and patted them dry. To remove the stems, caps and white hull, simply pinch these off with your fingers or use a paring knife.

To freeze strawberries, first gently wash them and pat them dry. You can either remove the cap and stem or leave them intact, depending upon what you will do with them once they are thawed. Arrange them in a single layer on a flat pan or cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the berries to a heavy plastic bag and return them to the freezer where they will keep for up to one year. Adding a bit of lemon juice to the berries will help to preserve their color. While strawberries can be frozen whole, cut or crushed, they will retain a higher level of their vitamin C content if left whole.

Tasty Tips for Using Strawberries:

*Add sliced strawberries to mixed green salad. (See above recipe!)

*Layer sliced strawberries, whole blueberries and plain yogurt in a wine glass to make a parfait dessert.
 
*Add strawberries to breakfast shakes to give them a more vibrant taste and texture.
 
*Add strawberries to breakfast cereals.
 

Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, manganese, and health-promoting antioxidants. Three and a half ounces of strawberries contain only 33 calories, making them a great choice for a snack.

The fragrantly sweet juiciness and deep red color of strawberries brighten up the taste and appearance of any meal! Have some strawberries soon!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

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For a list of link parties in which I participate weekly, click “Link Parties” on the header menu.

 


Comments

3 Simple Steps to Prepare Strawberry Salad — 36 Comments

  1. I love when fresh strawberries start showing up at the farmers markets and grocery stores! Definitely means spring ? And I’m with you – a strawberry salad is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them!

  2. ohhhh… And strawberry season is right around the corner! Thanks for sharing on the “What’s for Dinner” link up~

  3. I love adding fruit to Salads & this sound delicious! I am looking forward to trying the dressing as well, I like that you added dill to it, Yum! Thank you so much for joining the Sunday Fitness Food Link-Up ?

  4. Hi Kathryn, I only wish strawberries were at their peak longer! Hope you enjoy this salad! Blessings, Janet

  5. Hi Helen, I enjoyed your series on Pizza last week! I got some great strawberries at Costco – from Florida. But the local ones are the best once they get ripe! Have a great week! Janet

  6. Hi Angela, Hope you enjoy this salad! It’s my pleasure to join the Sunday Fitness Food Link-Up Party! Blessings, Janet

  7. I really love the combination of feta and strawberries in my salad! Perfect for Spring and Summer!

  8. Hi Ilka, This is one of my favorite salads & I love strawberries, too. Hope you enjoy it! Blessings, Janet

  9. This sounds amazing! I never would have thought to put strawberries and feta together in a salad before, but I am going to have try now! Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week ?

  10. Hi Kelly, This is one of my favorite salads! I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by! Blessings, Janet

  11. This sounds incredible! I love feta and I bet the strawberries would be great with it! Thank you for sharing this recipe at the #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!

  12. I love this kind of salad! Yummy and pretyy simple ? Thanks for sharing! #SmallVictories

  13. I used to make strawberry salad and have not made it in ages. I think I might need to make it for dinner tomorrow night.

    Thanks for sharing at SYC.

  14. Hi Carol, Strawberry Salad just can’t be beat for welcoming in spring! Hope you enjoy it! Blessings, Janet

  15. I just love this salad, one of my favorites! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  16. Hi Miz Helen, I love this salad, too. It’s just so full of spring! Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Blessings, Janet

  17. I love adding fresh fruit to my salads, especially in the spring and summer. Thanks for sharing your recipe and linking up with Merry Monday!

  18. Hi Emily, I love fresh strawberries and this salad is top notch in my humble opinion! Hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by! Blessings, Janet

  19. Thanks for sharing on Let’s Get Real Friday Party. I love strawberries on lettuce salads especially when they are in season.

  20. Hi Karen, I agree with you – this salad is the best when the strawberries are at their peak! Thanks for your comments! Blessings, Janet

  21. Hey, just wanted to drop you a note and say thanks so much for linking up over at Sunday?s Simple Homemaker on Prairie Gal Cookin! Please feel free to drop in and leave a different link or two on this week?s link-up, we?d love to have you! http://www.prairiegalcookin.com/sundays-simple-homemaker-3rd-weekly-link-up/

  22. Yum! Gorgeous salad, really stunning! Thanks for sharing this with us on Throwback Thursday!

    Mollie

  23. Perfect spring salad. Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday. Pinned!

  24. Hi Quinn, Thanks for your comments – this salad is probably my favorite this time of year! See you Thursday. Blessings, Janet

  25. This salad sounds absolutely amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing with us at the Healthy Living Link Party ? We hope to see you back tonight!

  26. Thanks for the comments on the Strawberry Salad – I really enjoy it! Thanks also for hosting the Healthy Living Link Party. See you soon! Blessings, Janet

  27. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you enjoy your new Red Plate and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

  28. Hi Miz Helen, Thanks so much for featuring Strawberry Salad on Full Plate Thursday this week! I appreciate it so much! Thanks you for hosting! Blessings, Janet

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