With the warmer months approaching, it’s time to start enjoying some spring and summer recipes. In California, strawberry season is in full swing and it is big business here considering the Golden State is the nation's leading producer of strawberries. In 2014, more than 2.3 billion pounds of strawberries were harvested which amounts to 88 percent of the country's total fresh and frozen strawberries. Sweet strawberries make a perfect addition to this vibrant salad and the balsamic vinegar brings out the berries' beautiful color and truly enhances their flavor. The spinach leaves are tossed with a mixture of mint, basil, parsley and tarragon which lend delicious flavor and combine beautifully with the goat cheese.
1 (6-ounce) bag baby spinach (about 6 cups)
1 cup packed small mixed fresh herb leaves such as basil, mint, and parsley
2 tablespoons packed tarragon leaves
1 cup quartered strawberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon very finely minced shallot
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces fresh goat cheese (feta will also work)
Aged Balsamic vinegar, to drizzle
1. In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach, mixed herbs, and tarragon leaves. Gently toss with the strawberries and a few pinches of salt and pepper.
2. In small bowl, combine vinegar, shallot, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk until mixture appears milky and no lumps remain. Whisking constantly, very slowly drizzle oil into mixture. Vinaigrette should be glossy and lightly thickened.
3. Toss the salad with enough vinaigrette to coat and crumble the goat cheese on top. Drizzle with aged balsamic and serve immediately.