Strawberries and candied pecans add a little bit of sweetness to your leafy greens in this Strawberry Salad with Lightly Candied Walnuts and Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette. Makes a great side dish or light entree.
It’s that salad time of year again. The time of year that we don’t want to heat up our house by turning on the oven, and we don’t feel like eating anything hot, and there’s just so much delicious produce available that makes it so easy to want to eat nothing but salads. And maybe ice cream…but that’s another story.
Today’s salad, Strawberry Salad with Lightly Candied Walnuts and Rosemary Balsamic Dressing comes courtesy of a friend who used to bring this salad to potlucks and dinner parties all the time. To this day, I still refer to it as “The Laura Salad” every single time I make it. I don’t think she actually used a recipe to make this delicious salad, so neither did I for many years when I made it. Then I decided to share it with all of you, and I had to write it down. That meant I actually had to measure!
Lucky for all of us, this is an incredibly simple salad to make. It has a short ingredient list and doesn’t involve much chopping or other lengthy steps that are present in some other salads. Cooking is very limited – just roasting and candying the nuts which takes no more than 5 minutes. Speaking of the candied walnuts, I went with a minimal sugar coating in this salad. Hubby and I have been trying to cut back on sugar for about 6 months now, and I have been finding that generally, less is more – especially in a salad!
The dressing is a simple vinaigrette made with balsamic vinegar, rosemary, maple syrup and olive oil. All you need is a whisk to mix it up. The only other components are the strawberries, which simply need to be sliced, and the greens. To keep things easy, just use the ready to use spring mix or field greens and you’ll have this salad on your table in less than 15 minutes. Thanks for the inspiration Laura!
Strawberry Salad with Lightly Candied Walnuts and Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 6 medium strawberries, stemmed, cored and sliced
- 5 ounces salad greens (spring mix or mixed field greens spinach, arugula, red or leaf lettuce), about 8 cups
- Toast walnuts in a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When they become fragrant, push walnuts to the side of the skillet. Add sugar to the center of the skillet to melt. Stir the walnuts into the melted sugar. The nuts will only be lightly coated. Remove from heat and allow to cool in the skillet. Break up clumps of nuts with a wooden spoon or your hands.
- Whisk together remaining teaspoon of syrup, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, salt and pepper. Continue whisking vigorously while slowly drizzling in the olive oil. Toss greens with this dressing to coat in a large bowl.
- Split greens evenly among 2-4 bowls. Top with portions of sliced strawberries and candied walnuts. Serve immediately.
Strawberry Salad with Candied Walnuts and Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette Nutrition Notes:
The above nutrition information is for an entree sized portion of the salad (the recipe will make 2 entree sized salads, or 4 side salads). To serve the recipe as a side dish, divide all nutrition facts by 2 and serve 4 small salads from the recipe.