STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD (raw-vegan)
I LOVE classic dishes, especially at Sunday Brunch. Nothing says CLASSIC like a STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD! The taste of fresh ripe strawberries balanced out with the earthy baby spinach is a hit. Although this salad is classic in style it is not in the ingredients list. I have taken this dish and pushed it to the healthiest limits possible. The ingredients are simple but bold in flavor; baby spinach, ripe strawberries, black berries, mint, pea pod shoots and pecans. I really like that you can serve this in many ways too. You can serve it family style (all mixed up in a bowl), as a meal itself or a decorative side dish at brunch– like shown in the above picture. This will be a true hit for all. So if you are looking for a classic dish to serve at your next meal, look no further than this strawberry spinach salad.
A CHEF’S TIP: not all cuts are created equal. The size of a cut can make a difference on the balance of flavor and texture of a dish. One cut that I like to use is chiffonade. This works great for leafy ingredients like spinach, herbs and lettuce. The process is simple just stack the leaves on each other going the same direction, roll tightly lengthwise and thin slice the roll width-wise to make thin ribbons. You can cut a range of sizes like large ribbons or really fine ribbons.
SERVES 4 SIDE SALADS OR 2 MAIN MEALS
4 cups medium chiffonade organic baby spinach, measure after you chiffonade it
12 small fresh organic mint leaves, chiffonade fine
2 cups fresh organic blackberries
2 tsp meyer lemon juice
8 to 10 large ripe organic strawberries
1/2 cup fresh organic pea pod shoots
OPTIONAL: 8 raw organic pecan halves
In a medium bowl, mix the spinach and mint together well. In a food processor, puree the blackberries and lemon juice. Gently toss the spinach mixture with this puree and set aside, this is your dressed spinach mix. Cut the tops off the strawberries and stand on the cut side, now evenly cut the tops again to make all of the strawberries the same height. Cut the strawberries into thin slices(1/8 inch thick) from the top to bottom (full height) and set aside.Wash and spin dry the shoots, cut off the stems so they are approximately the same length of the height of the strawberry slices.
TO DISPLAY LIKE THE PHOTO ABOVE for 4 servings: Use a small glass or measuring cup and measure out 1 cup of the dressed spinach mix. Gently flip the glass on the center of the serving plates to pile this mix standing up. Stand one strawberry slice up on its cut side against this pile. Repeat with other strawberry slices slightly off set to complete the circle around the spinach mix. Repeat with all of the dishes. Now stick 1/4 of pea pod shoots in between the strawberries and the spinach mix on each dish as shown above. OPTIONAL: Garnish each dish with 2 fresh micro-planed or zested pecan halves on each. Serve and enjoy.