Strawberry Salads

Two recipes for strawberry salads, great ways to show off spring strawberries. Strawberry Pepper Salad is better with tender home-grown strawberries but no worry, Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing works beautifully with supermarket strawberries. Both use candied almonds, gorgeous orbs of nutty sweetness.

Strawberry Pepper Salad with Candied Almonds

"Holy moly ... may be the world's best use of strawberries." ~Jo Beth
"Strawberries with almonds and parmesan and pepper.... mmm!" ~Anonymous

Each year, as the last days of May slip into the first hours of June, the local strawberries are fat and juicy and perfect.

The season seems to last a whole ten seconds, a couple of weeks at most – but only in a good year, for reality depends on sun and rain and temperature, the unpredictability a reminder of who’s really in charge.

But each year I wait in anticipation, hoarding special ways to use nature’s perfect ruby gems. A few out of the hand; small bowls swimming in fresh cream; shortcake. These top the list but then curiosity sets in.

Last year I hosted a strawberry feast, four courses starring local berries. The favorite among kids and grown-ups alike was a surprise, a simple Strawberry Pepper Salad, just berries macerated in a touch of sugar and balsamic vinegar spiked with pepper, the juices topping buttery lettuce. The combination of sweet and heat, sweet and sour, it’s magical, worthy of real berries.

But when supermarket berries are what’s available, try a STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD with a homemade POPPY SEED DRESSING. Whisk together 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon minced red onion, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Toss with fresh baby spinach, then top with sliced strawberries, candied almonds and feta cheese crumbles.

ALANNA's TIPS Make a double batch of candied almonds to have enough for both salads. Slivered almonds work too but they have more surface area, you'll need to double the butter and brown sugar to coat the small batons. Use a carrot peeler to peel off delicate ribbons of Parmesan cheese.


Worthy of the best of berries
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 40 minutes
Serves 4
  • 1 pint ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 – 3 three grinds of black pepper (yes, pepper!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • Salad greens, preferably leafy green or red leafy lettuce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese (see TIPS)

MACERATE BERRIES Combine berries, vinegar, sugar and pepper in a small bowl. Let rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes for flavors to meld.

MAKE CANDIED ALMONDS Melt butter and brown sugar in a small skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often and adjusting heat to avoid burning, until almonds are brown and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate in a single layer to cool.

MAKE SALADS Arrange fresh salad greens on plates. Spoon a tablespoon of berry-vinegar juice over greens, then arrange strawberry slices and candied nuts on top. Top with freshly ground pepper and strips of fresh Parmesan.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per serving: 173 Calories; 10g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 4mg Cholesterol; 33mg Sodium; 17g Carb; 4g Fiber; 5g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 4 & WW Points Plus 5.

Strawberry Spinach Salad
with Homemade Poppyseed Dressing

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Homemade Poppyseed Dressing

This salad does just beautifully with supermarket strawberries. Save the precious home-grown strawberries for Strawberry Pepper Salad!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe for strawberries that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. "Like" Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Gorging on Strawberries

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Five-Minute Fruit Salad Strawberry Salsa with Sweet-Cinnamon Baked Tortilla Chips Mojito Strawberries
Iowa Strawberry Shortcake Strawberry Ice Cream Strawberries in Wine
~ more salad recipes ~

Favorite Fruity Salads from A Veggie Venture

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

Quick Links to This Page

(for easy bookmarking and searching)
~ Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette ~
~ Candied Almonds ~

© Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. soldejusticia7/19/2007



  2. Alanna,

    I followed the link here from A Veggie Venture, and am I ever glad I did! Both of these salads sound scrumptious. Cheese and nuts and berries atop greens ... what's not to love? Thanks for the strawberry inspiration.


  3. The salad looks beautiful--particularly the way you photographed it. The green cloth looks so pretty.


  4. Looks so nice and refreshing!


  5. I agree with Sher, it's a great photo. Both of these sound great.


  6. That looks phenomenal! The colours! The flavours! I started drooling just at the photos and the condition worsened as I read the recipe. Fab!


  7. Jo Beth7/19/2007

    Holy moly, balsamic strawberries with candied almonds and shaved parmesan may be the world's best use of strawberries.

    We made it for our Fourth of July luncheon and everyone loved it. So easy, yet I never thought of must be genius, yes?


  8. Anonymous5/08/2009

    I made this for the first time last night for a dinner with some friends, and it was a great hit. It was wonderful! I sent a copy of the recipe home with everyone, and I already have plans to make it again soon. Brilliant for this time of year.
    Strawberries with almonds and parmesan and pepper.... mmm!


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna