Spinach Salad: Feta, Strawberry, and almond salad with homemade poppy seed dressing recipe

This is an insanely light and delicious spinach salad that features the beautiful taste of strawberries set off against the sweet homemade poppy seed dressing. Make the dressing several hours before you’ll be serving it, or even the day before, so it has time for the flavors to develop.

[alert-announce]Summer Outdoor Party Recipes: Grilled Caprese Pesto Sliders AppetizersSpinach Strawberry and Feta Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing, Easy and Creamy Shrimp Dip Appetizer,  Sparkling Lemonade, and Homemade Vanilla Bean with Grilled Pineapple and Toasted Coconut[/alert-announce]

Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

When you see how easy it is to make salad dressing at home, you may rethink your dependence on the bottle. Making your own lets you adjust the ingredients and have full control over the calories, additives, and freshness.

I make my homemade salad dressings in the cup of my Ninja Ultima Blender Plus (the blender cups are a perfect 2-cup capacity), but you could also make it in a food processor, or use a bowl and whisk. I prefer the the instant and complete combination of ingredients my blender can accomplish, plus I can store it right in the single serving blender jar.

This dressing recipe makes enough for a double batch of salad (depending on how heavily you like your salad dressed). I use it with the salad proportions below and I have nearly half (almost a cup) left over for another meal. Just be sure to use your dressing within 7-10 days and keep it well chilled in the refrigerator.

Serving Your Sweet Summer Spinach Salad

Pier One Alabaster Serving BowlServe your fantastic summer spinach salad in an equally amazing bowl. I paired mine with the Alabaster Serving Bowl from Pier One I picked up while shopping for some fabulous accessories to transform our deck for an outdoor oasis party. It’s huge at 14.50″ in diameter and 5″ high and lets my fresh greens and fruit shine. It’s one of my favorite bowls and you’ll be seeing it put to use quite often in my kitchen holding fruit, salads, and more. It may even appear on my dining room table holding flowers, or just on display in the living room. It’s truly gorgeous.

Spinach Strawberry Feta and Almond Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Not strawberry season? Use 1 cup dried blueberries and/or cranberries - just as delicious!
Yield: 6
Prep Time: 
Total Time: 
Ingredients
  • Dressing
  • ½ c sugar
  • ¾ c mayonnaise
  • 4 Tbl milk
  • 2 Tbl white red OR wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbl  poppy seeds
  • Salad
  • 5 oz baby spinach, washed
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries, washed
  • 4 T sliced almonds
  • 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Instructions
  1. Dressing
  2. Several hours before serving and up to the day ahead, place all of the dressing ingredients with the exception of the poppy seeds in a blender jar.
  3. Blend on low speed until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides if necessary.
  4. Remove the jar and stir in the poppy seeds.
  5. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
  6. Salad
  7. Add the baby spinach to a large bowl.
  8. Wash and slice strawberries; add to spinach.
  9. Add ½ of the prepared dressing and toss gently. Add more if necessary. Refrigerate any leftovers and use within 10 days.
  10. Sprinkle with almonds and feta cheese.
  11. Serve immediately.
Notes
Serves 6 - 12 depending on serving size

Spinach Salad Alternatives & Substitutions

Not a fan Strawberries or they’re not in season? There are plenty of substitutions you can make. Use blueberries or cranberries , either dried or fresh, or any other berry you love. You can also switch out the Feta cheese for shredded Cheddar. It’s a versatile salad that’s full of iron and great nutrients. Spinach is so good for you that it’s my go-to salad now. There’s just no reason not to eat it daily as it’s low in calories and versatile so you can eat it at nearly any meal.

Don’t think you like spinach? Have you tried it raw? For 50+ years I hated spinach, but I found that raw I actually loved it and craved it, and now I eat it 4-5 times a week. I alternate between this sweet poppy seed dressing and a sweet onion dressing, but the rest of it is pretty much the same with only the fruit changing as the seasons do.

Make this for your next BBQ or picnic (pack it in separate containers and combine it on site or pack all the salad ingredients in one and the dressing in a second and dress it at the table). I promise you’ll get rave reviews for you sweet summer fruit and spinach salad. I know I do!

What’s your go-to salad?