Mary Ann’s Strawberry & Spinach Salad

Serving Size: 4-6

Mary Ann Myers makes the best salads. I should know; I’ve been enjoying them for more than 30 years. That’s because Mary Ann and I, along with four other friends, meet for a communal dinner every month, and when it’s her turn to bring the salad, I know it’s always going to be outstanding. This particular salad with its combination of ingredients was sensational.

Mary Ann told me that she got the recipe from her friend and walking partner Susan Medak. Susan wrote that she received it from a woman named Kay Haney, and so the story goes. I’ve added my own twist, including raspberry vinegar instead of wine vinegar, honey instead of sugar, and shallots in place of onion. That’s the fun of recipes; you can always improvise.

[This recipe comes from Zupan’s Markets Summer 2012 issue of Indulge Magazine (Vol. 5, Issue 1) — reprinted with author permission.] 

Ingredients

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1 scant T minced shallots
  • ¼ C raspberry vinegar
  • 1-2 T honey
  • 2 T sesame seeds
  • 1 T poppy seeds
  • ¼ t. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ t. paprika
  • ½ C peanut oil

Salad ingredients:

  • ½ lb. baby spinach leaves
  • 1 pint strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
  • ½ C toasted pecans, halved or pieces (optional)

Preparation

Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake until well blended. Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Taste—it should be sweet. Adjust with honey.

Lightly toss the spinach with the strawberries and pecans, if using. Drizzle a small amount of the dressing over the salad and lightly toss. Taste and adjust by adding more dressing, if necessary.