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Spinach and Fruit Summer Salad

 

Sometimes all I want to eat in the hot summer heat, is a salad.

(for those of you who are in the middle of your winter, save this for later)

There’s something cool and refreshing about crunching on fresh veggies and fruits………while it’s hot and sticky outside.

And a salad just fills me up nicely, doesn’t stuff me down to my toes.

 

And this salad is one that I ate at a restaurant back in Savannah, GA before moving here……..and I knew I wanted to try and re-create.  The fresh bed of spinach, all of the sweet seasonal fruit, the thin slices of grilled chicken, the crunchy nuts, the sweet and tangy dressing……….and the crumbled goat’s cheeseOh my word, the goat cheese.  It’s soft and creamy and well, it’s strong.  But I adore it.  So when I tried this salad back in GA, and they served it with goat cheese………I was in heaven.

 

Goat cheese always reminds me of a roommate back in college (hi Katie!) who loved it it much as I do.  We would save our poor little college pennies (goat cheese isn’t cheap) and buy goat cheese, a bag of tortilla chips, and would happily dip and crunch on our little treat.  We loved it.  That goat cheese bonded us. :)

 

Any other goat cheese fans out there?

 

But if you’re not a goat cheese fan, substitute it for feta………or even something mild, like mozzarella.  (You’ll still love this salad.)

 

And then enjoy the freshness of summer.

 

 

And with a little drizzle of a sweet, yet tangy poppyseed dressing (that’s crazy easy to make)………….

 

 

………it’s perfect.

 

And satisfies so many of my senses.

 

 

Would you like to make a bowl for lunch/dinner?

 

 

**Recipe all written out at the very bottom.**

 

Before anything else, make the dressing.

 

Place your oil in a bowl and add your balsamic vinegar…

 

 

And then the jam…

 

 

 

And then the poppyseeds…

 

 

Whisk together pretty vigorously (in a bigger bowl than I’m showing here), or place them into a dressing mixer that you can shake up.   (I like the shaking method best.  If you don’t have a mixer, you can pour into a tupperware with a lid and shake it up.)  Place in the fridge.

 

 

Next, it’s time to lightly glaze some chopped pecans.  To do so, place the pecans and sugar in a pan over medium heat.

 

 

Slowly let the sugar warm up, while continually stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.  Eventually you’ll see the sugar being to melt.

 

 

But then you’ll notice that the sugar will start clumping up and sticking to everything.  Don’t worry.  Keep stirring and watch as the sugar continues to melt and caramelize.

 

 

Eventually, all of the clumps will melt and smooth out, and will nicely coat your pecans.  (Be careful not to burn the sugar…..just let it caramelize and brown just a bit.)

 

 

Then remove from the heat and immediately spread on a sheet of tin foil.  After they’re cool, gently break them apart.  Set aside.

 

 

Next, wash your fruit and slice your strawberries and kiwis.  And it’s okay to sneak a few pieces to nibble on.  I know, it’s tempting.

 

 

And now, cook your chicken out on the grill or in a pan on the stove.  Whatever works best for you.  (My 2 breast pieces are sliced in half, making them 4 thinner slices of chicken.  I did that to speed up the cook time.)

 

 

Once your chicken is fully cooked, slice it nice and thin.

 

 

And then assemble your salad in a bowl.  And serve.   (serves about 4)

 

 

And enjoy!

 

 

 

[print_this]

Spinach and Fruit Summer Salad (serves about 4)

 

  • 10 oz bag of fresh spinach
  • 1-2 chicken breasts, grilled and thinly sliced
  • 1 pint of strawberries, sliced
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 4-5 kiwis, peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese** (or crumble some yourself) – substitute for another cheese if desired

 Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup oil (I used canola……use what you like)
  • 4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp Strawberry Jam  (or any berry variety)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp poppyseeds
  • 1/4 tsp salt

To make the dressing: Place your oil, balsamic vinegar, jam, poppyseeds, and salt into a bowl. Whisk together pretty vigorously or place them into a dressing mixer that you can shake up. Place in the fridge.

 

Next, it’s time to lightly glaze some chopped pecans.  Place the pecans and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Slowly let the sugar warm up, while continually stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.  Eventually you’ll see the sugar being to melt. But then you’ll notice that the sugar will start clumping up and sticking to everything.  Don’t worry.  Keep stirring and watch as the sugar continues to melt and caramelize. Eventually, all of the clumps will melt and smooth out, and will nicely coat your pecans.  (Be careful not to burn the sugar…..just let it caramelize and brown just a bit.) Then remove from the heat and immediately spread on a sheet of tin foil.  After they’re cool, gently break them apart.  Set aside.

 

Wash your fruit and slice your strawberries and kiwis.

 

Cook your chicken out on the grill or in a pan on the stove.  Whatever works best for you.  (I slice 2 breast pieces in half, making them 4 thinner slices of chicken, to speed up the cook time.) Once your chicken is fully cooked, slice it nice and thin.

 

And then assemble your salad in a bowl and serve.

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Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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Comments

  1. Mary Webb friend of Eddie's says:

    Thank you for sharing! So sweet of you to give out your expertise.I plan on using your sight.I know everything will be good because you suggest using so many of the ingredients that I love.

  2. emma says:

    ugh!! this looks so yummy!!

  3. Mindy says:

    love the shot of the fruit. I want to know your photography secrets! ;)

  4. nativemadridian says:

    Looks gorgeous–thanks for the culinary inspiration!

    I’ve found that if the fruits aren’t in season, that dried cranberries or raisins substitute well for the sweet to counterbalance the goat cheese.

    mmmmm…. goat cheese.

    nativemadridian.blogspot.com

  5. :o) mg says:

    I love goat cheese! And I am drooling over your salad.
    I can’t eat anything hot in the mornings in the summer, so lately I have been enjoying smoothies. Keeps me cool.

  6. Sarah says:

    I love love LOVE goat cheese! I am not an adventurous eater, but I tried it in college and was a believer by the end of the night. Now, if you put goat cheese on it, I am willing to try almost anything.

    Also I have to say that you and I are often a lot alike. Including it looks like we have the same plates, and my baby just turned 4 months Monday. But he’s a boy… And my only so far so thanks for posting boy stuff! I just can’t figure out how you have time to do all this, but I’m very impressed! I love pretty much every single thing you do. :)

  7. Amanda says:

    I’ve owned goats. The cheese tastes like their B.O. so, I’ll stick with feta thanks. The salad looks fantastic. I think I’ll be making that very soon :)

    1. Ashley says:

      Hahaha……..we raised goats too growing up, and my mom says the same thing about goat cheese. She hates it but I can’t get enough of it. She must a stronger memory of the Bucks than I do. ;)

      Ashley

  8. Amy Caroline says:

    Oh goodness, this looks CRAZY good!

  9. Tracy says:

    I just made this the other day…but without the yummy dressing and the feta. Ranch and cheddar just didn’t cut it. Next time I make this hopefully it won’t e a last 2nd thought. :)

  10. Janelle says:

    Not a big fan of sweet in my salads, but I must admit that this salad is really PRETTY!! I’m with you on the goat cheese, though. Or feta. Or most any cheese at all. Mmmmmmmm, now I’m hungry…

    -Janelle
    homemadethisandthat.blogspot.com

  11. Jen @familyfoodfitnessandfun says:

    Wow, that looks so good. I love summer fruit in a salad…it’s so refreshing. Great photos BTY :)

  12. Kelli says:

    YUM! I was just trying to find my recipe for poppyseed dressing today. I couldn’t, but I think I’ll just use yours! Thanks!!

  13. sorahart says:

    Anyone know where the poppy seeds are hiding at the grocery store? I’ve never had any luck finding them! This recipe sounds delicious.

    1. Robin says:

      They are usually where all the spices are located. Grocery stores have the spices arranged in alphabetical order. So take a look amongst the spices that start with a “p”.

  14. Brittany Glenn says:

    YUMmy! That looks so good right now. Better go and pick me up some spinach, vinegar and pecans!

  15. Kristin says:

    Dang… that is some sweet, sweet awesome sauce. Well done– you’ve inspired many, including me!

  16. Angela says:

    I LOVE goat cheese. and your salad looks absolutely delicious!

  17. Rosie says:

    oh. my. yum. You may have just introduced me to my first major pregnancy craving this time around, haha! :) Goat cheese was totally already on my craving list… wonder if its pasturized, or off limits like Bleu is during pregnancy…

  18. P. says:

    of course I would, it looks really nice :D

  19. Amy says:

    Thanks for the recipe… curious which restaurant in Savannah? I’m local :) Thanks!

  20. Emily says:

    Mmmm, love strawberries on my spinach salads. Have some homemade jam to try in that dressing too. Finally got the hubby eating spinach but there’s no chance on the cheese, boring colby on his salads. And it’s hot hot hot here, salads been on the menu plenty.

  21. Coley says:

    I make this salald and LOVE it. Mmmmmm!

  22. kristina says:

    That looks absolutely amazing! Too bad Husband hates fruit in salads. Maybe I’ll just have to make it for me!

  23. maritza says:

    Hi!!! It looks like delicious ….. mmmmm. We are in winter…. greeting from Chile.

  24. carmel says:

    yes!! Now i know what i”m making for dinner tonight!!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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