June 22, 2016

Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette and Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberries are in season here (cue happy dance) and we are devouring them by the pound.  We gave Clayton a whole punnet at the farmers market last weekend and he went to work – I probably won’t wear a white shirt next time we do that.  But it was so fun to see him dive in and enjoy their sweet seasonal goodness!

When they’re perfectly ripe they’re usually demolished before we get home from the market, but if any do make it, this is one of our favourite recipes.  Salad dressings are something I just don’t buy.  It’s so hard to find genuinely clean ones, and with a few minutes they’re actually really easy to make yourself.  This one along with the spinach salad is great a great bright light summer salad with crunchy nuts, creamy goats cheese and sweet fruit – perfect alongside a good steak from the barbeque.

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Salad to feed 8:

10 cups spinach
1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced,
1/2 cup almonds, lightly toasted with salt and black pepper
1/2 cup pecans, lightly toasted with salt and black pepper
1/3 cup goat’s cheese

For the Vinaigrette:

2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 tbsp pure maple syrup
A pinch of salt and pepper
A 6oz punnet of raspberries
6 tbsp avocado oil or a combination  (THIS one is great, or an organic version HERE and while we’re on avocado oil THIS is a really good baking spray with avocado oil, that doesn’t have chemical propellants, or nasty oils in! We love it.)

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Start with all the ingredients at room temperature (especially if you’re using frozen raspberries).  Place everything except the oil in a blender and whizz it up until it’s completely blended.  When it’s smooth, slowly add the oil in a steady stream with the blender is running.  (Use the little hole in the blender lid, if you don’t have one add it bit by bit blending in between.)

Toss all the salad ingredients together and pour on half of the vinaigrette.  Toss the salad again and put the rest in the fridge for next time.

A note on the oil: I love avocado oil for dressings as it is a really healthy option, and has a great neutral flavour.  You can also use coconut, or olive, or a combination.  If you use coconut oil it does set it a little but if it’s well blended it’s ok, just use it right after making it, or take it out 10 minutes before eating and give it a good shake.

 

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