Spinach salad can take on so many different twists. You can change it up and add your stamp with your favorite cheese, fruit, cooked chicken, onions, and varieties of nuts. I made this last week for the teachers at Woods Cross High. It's simple and always a crowd pleaser.
I love this salad made with end of summer strawberries, fresh avocado, spinach, Gorgonzola cheese and sugared almonds. The homemade poppyseed dressing tastes like Brianna's, costs a fraction of the store bought bottle, and only takes about two minutes to mix up in a blender. Such a great salad for anything from a girl's lunch to a family reunion.
Happy end of summer!
Strawberry-Avocado Spinach Salad with Copycat Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing
A Bountiful Kitchen
16 oz baby spinach
1-pint strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1-2 avocados, ripe but still slightly firm cut into chunks or sliced
6-8 oz Gorgonzola or Bleu Cheese, crumbled
1 cups almonds, sliced
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
Homemade Poppyseed Dressing (below)
Place a sheet of foil (about 12 inches long) or parchment paper on the counter. Give the foil a light spray of cooking oil.
Place the almonds and sugar in a large teflon pan over medium-medium high heat. Stir when sugar begins to heat up. It will give off a fragrance similar to cotton candy :) Be careful not to turn the heat up too high, or you will burn the sugar and have to toss the almonds.
Stir the almonds and sugar constantly after sugar starts to melt. This takes about 5-8 minutes to get to this point. Once sugar begins to melt or caramelize, remove pan from heat and pour onto foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle with an additional tablespoon of sugar. Let cool. Break apart when cooled if necessary.
Place the spinach in a large bowl. Toss with strawberries, avocado and Gorgonzola cheese. Or place the spinach in a bowl and top with avocado, strawberries and cheese. Top with cooled sugared almonds.
When ready to serve, toss with about 1/2 cup of the poppyseed dressing, or serve on the side.
Serves about 6-8 as a side salad.
-If you are making this ahead, wait to cut the avocado until no more than an hour before serving.
Add the almonds just before serving.
-I usually double or triple the amount of sugared almonds for future use. I like the salad to be heavy on the almonds, so I probably use two cups total of sugared almonds.
-I also love this with a little thinly sliced red onion or bunch of green onions, chopped.
ABK Copycat Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup mayo, light or regular (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
1 teaspoon grated onion (white, yellow or sweet onion, optional)
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and onion and process for 30 seconds.
With blender or food processor on high, gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream.
Stir in poppy seeds.
-If you don't have a blender or food processor, you can make this in a large bowl using a whisk or a hand mixer.
-You may make the dressing without the mayo and add it after all of the other ingredients if you prefer. If the dressing is not as creamy as you would like, or too tart, add the mayo.
-Keeps for weeks in the refrigerator.
-This recipe is enough dressing for 3 times the salad above.