A delicious spinach strawberry salad, with goat cheese, maple-glazed walnuts and watercress, tossed in a light maple vinaigrette and topped with a balsamic glaze.
Why I love this spinach strawberry salad
This strawberry salad makes me happy just to look at, with it’s bright colours! This salad is so much more than a pretty plate, though. There is so much goodness going on here I couldn’t fit it all in the title.
It starts with baby spinach and some watercress. I love watercress. It adds great texture to a salad and it’s a nutritional powerhouse that’s often overlooked. The greens are tossed in a simple maple vinaigrette. Not a lot – just enough to moisten it. The greens are then topped with sliced strawberries, goat cheese crumbles, maple-glazed walnuts and a balsamic glaze.
It’s worth mentioning again the maple-glazed walnuts, because they are seriously delicious. Walnuts are a nice nut and all, but they can tend to be a tiny bit bitter. It’s amazing what a quick trip to a skillet will do though, when you add a bit of maple syrup. All at once, they are toasted and glazed in maple sweetness and I guarantee, you’ll be snacking on them beyond this salad!
A few more notes
I have to express my undying love for balsamic glaze. It’s rich, thick and sweet and the perfect complement to the other flavours going on in this salad. Look for it at most grocery stores, in with the balsamic vinegars. If you can’t find it, simply reduce some regular balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan with a bit of brown sugar for the same effect.
Get the Recipe: Spinach Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad
Maple Glazed Walnuts:
- 2/3 cup walnut halves
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- Pinch salt
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable, canola or neutral cooking oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 4 oz. Baby Spinach
- 2 oz. Watercress, optional
- Maple Vinaigrette (from above)
- 1/4 cup Goat cheese crumbles
- Maple glazed walnuts (from above)
- 1 cup Sliced Strawberries
- Balsamic Glaze
- Freshly ground pepper
- For the Maple Glazed Walnuts: Heat a skillet over medium heat on the stove-top. Add the walnut halves, maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until caramelized and toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove to a sheet of parchment paper and using a fork, quickly separate nuts so they are not touching each other. Allow to cool at room temperature, then store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until needed.
- For the Maple Vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or a jar. Stir/shake together right before pouring over greens.
- To assemble the salad: Place some baby spinach and watercress in to a large bowl. Shake or stir vinaigrette and drizzle a bit over the greens. Toss until lightly moistened, then remove to serving plate or bowl.
- Top salad with some sliced strawberries, goat cheese crumbles and maple-glazed walnuts. Top with balsamic glaze and a bit of freshly ground pepper, if desired.
Looks so yummy! I’ll definitely make it, thanks for sharing!
I think it would be perfect with some basil leaves as well!
Hi Dora and absolutely! Basil and strawberry goes so nicely together :)
Watercress is indeed a wonderful little leaf. There are loads of watercress farms near where i live and I rarely use it. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Thanks Mariana. I am a fan of watercress and love to sneak it in to dishes and sandwiches, whenever I can!
What a delicious combination! I love spinach and strawberry salad, but you sent it over the top!
Thanks so much, Cathleen :)
A beautiful salad. We’re almost out of strawberry season here! darn it.
Thanks Mimi :)
I’ve been trying to eat healthier and always run into a rut when trying to decide what I want as a salad. This looks like a beautiful option – I love balsamic glaze too! It’s simply the best.
Thanks so much, Jessica :)
Love the addition of watercress in here and maple walnuts – I bet they are so addictive even on their own!
Thanks Shelly. I love watercress and like to sneak it in when I can. And yes, the walnuts are great snacks, too :)
This is what summer in a bowl looks like! So fresh and delicious! That dressing is making me drool!
Thanks so much, Samina :)
OMG. This salad looks like a dream. The Whole Foods near me sells one like this and it is something I know I should make but I always buy. Now, maybe I will gain the courage to make it because yours looks even better!!
Thanks so much :) I don’t have a Whole Foods anywhere near me, so I don’t have any choice but to make these myself. Super easy though!
I have a friend who doesn’t like goat cheese. I mean – detests it. And while I know full well that her hatred comes from a very real place, I can never really wrap my head around it. In my mind, goat cheese makes everything better. Put it on some roasted sweet potatoes. Slated it on toasted bread. Crumble it over salad – especially this salad and oh, my, goodness.
Needless to say, I completely agree with you. The colors here are amazing. Plus, love your trick for reducing balsamic. It’s such an affordable way to make an inexpensive ingredient taste like it costs big bucks!
Thanks Mikaela :) I would absolutely put goat cheese on everything, if I could!
I could eat this every day for lunch. The combination of flavors is perfect! Love your photos too!
Thanks so much, Tricia :)
That looks heavenly, I would kill for a plate of this right now. I love your maple vinaigrette, too — how about I trade you some rhubarb vinaigrette for a jar??
Thanks Sue and it’s a deal ;)
This is gorgeous and so perfect for any spring occasion. Love those nuts, I totally agree that walnuts can be a bit bitter but these sound WONDERFUL!!
Thanks so much, Chris :)
What a fab salad, I love these flavors and the maple glazed walnuts sound so good!
Thanks so much, Laura :)
I have a similar (less classy) salad like this for lunch nearly every day! I love your walnuts for this. So delicious!
Thanks Katrina. Definitely recommend these maple-glazed walnuts – even just for snacking! :)
I want this salad for lunch! It has all my salad requirements- cheese, fruit, nuts, amazing dressing! I especially love the maple glazed walnuts – there’s a salad I get for lunch a few times a week mostly because it has glazed walnuts! Beautiful Jennifer!
Thanks Jessica :) It was a delicious combination!
Love this salad, the strawberries are their best right now, such a perfect addition to a green salad.
Thanks Katalina :)
I’m with you. . .watercress is always a nice touch in salads. And with the strawberries, balsamic glaze, maple glazed walnuts, and goat cheese. . .could this possibly be salad heaven? Love, love, love it!
Thanks Lynn and it sure felt like salad heaven when I was eating it ;)
Maple and goat cheese go hand in hand. Well, being a New Englander, maple and everything go hand in hand!
I agree Sarah! I can’t get enough maple lately :)