Baby Spinach Salad with Strawberries

by Karin Calloway
Spinach and strawberry salads abound in the spring, but here’s one with a twist from warm vinaigrette that’s salty with crisp pancetta and sweet from strawberry jam. This is a wonderful change of pace from standard spinach and strawberry salads that are tossed with warm bacon vinaigrette or poppy seed dressing.

Use the best strawberry preserves you can find in this recipe. Hang onto the recipe to substitute peaches and peach preserves for the strawberry in the summer, and pear jam and fresh pears in the fall or winter.

  • 6 thick slices pancetta, chopped
  • 1 8-ounce jar strawberry jam or preserves
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces fresh baby spinach, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
Cook pancetta in skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain the pancetta on paper towels and set aside. Whisk in the jam, vinegar and mustard. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients are well blended. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste and set aside. (Vinaigrette can be made one day ahead. Reheat before serving.)

Place the baby spinach in a large bowl. Pour desired amount of warm dressing over the spinach and toss to coat. Divide among salad plates and garnish each salad with some of the sliced strawberries, walnuts and goat cheese. Serve immediately. (Cover and refrigerate any leftover dressing.)

Makes 6 servings.
Baby Spinach Salad with Strawberries

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