Strawberry Spinach Salad and Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

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I love this salad! It is so colorful and fresh and super easy to throw together. I know that there are lots of Poppy Seed Dressings out there, but sometimes they are super thick . . . this homemade dressing is really light and packs a ton of flavor that accents all the other ingredients. I take this to a lot of BBQ's and potlucks and always get asked for the recipe . . . so here it is!

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • dash of fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion (I love red onion, but any kind works)
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach - rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 quart strawberries - cleaned, hulled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • Bacon bits
  • Feta cheese or blue cheese to sprinkle on top (optional)
  • Red onion slices for the top (optional)
  1. In a blender, toss in the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, ground pepper and onion. Blend until the onion is pureed. Pour the dressing into a bowl, cover, and chill for at least an hour.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, walnuts, bacon bits, red onion slices (optional) and cheese (optional). Toss lightly. Pour dressing over salad right before you are ready to eat it so that the spinach does not wilt.


*When strawberries are not in season, this salad is also so yummy when you substitute a can or two of mandarin oranges for the strawberries! It's also so good to throw in a grilled chicken breast and then it becomes a main dish. So many options . . . :)

 

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