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Very Berry Spinach Summer Salad

Summer is here and this VERY Berry Spinach SUMMER SALAD is light, refreshing, and will keep your waistline right where you want it without sacrificing flavor.  It’s made with baby spinach, toasted pecans, goat cheese, a variety of berries and the BEST dressing EVER! The flavors in the dressing perfectly compliment the salad with very little sugar added. I have a strong feeling this will be your go-to summer salad.

very berry summer salad
Very Berry Salad and Dressing

Recipe Notes:

  • Dressing: prepare the dressing in a bowl and whisk together the ingredients as you add them. You can store the dressing in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days in a mason jar or any jar with a tight fitting lid.
  • Berries: I used blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries in this recipe, but feel free to swip and swap them out. Strawberries will be equally delicious as well!
  • Preserves: I used sugar free strawberry preserves by Polaner, but any jelly or jam will work. Experiment with blueberry, raspberry, or even fig flavored preserves. I chose the sugar free option, but regular jelly or jam is perfectly fine.
  • Spinach: Baby spinach is in the recipe, but regular spinach can be used in place. I like the small leaves of the baby spinach, but you could use the regular spinach and chop it up.
  • Spinach: ALWAYS wash and dry any lettuce or spinach you use in your salad recipes or the dressing will not adhere and the salad can get soggy. Here is a great option for drying the lettuce: https://amzn.to/2RIrkaC
  • Pecans: When toasting the pecans remember it only takes about 7-10 minutes. You should move them around the pan a few times so they don’t burn. No need for any oil in the pan, just crank the stove to about medium heat and toast the nuts until they are fragrant. Keep an eye on them. You can substitute walnuts for pecans. Equally delicious in this recipe.

Very Berry Spinach Summer Salad and Dressing

Melissa Jo

Ingredients
  

Salad Ingredients:

  • 5 oz of baby spinach washed and thoroughly dried
  • 4 oz. of each: blueberries raspberries, and blackberries
  • 4 oz. of crumbled goat cheese
  • 4-5 oz. of pecans

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of strawberry preserves jam, or jelly (I used sugar-free Polaner’s Preserves)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Salad:

  • Toast the pecans in a pan with no oil. Set your stove at medium heat. Move the pecans around the pan a bit as they cook. It should take 7-10 minutes. Take off the heat when they smell fragrant. Watch them closely they can burn easily.
  • Chop the pecans
  • Assemble the salad in a wide bowl in this order: Spinach, berries, pecans, goat cheese.
  • Dressing:
  • combine the preserves, honey, and juice of one lemon (whisk)
  • slowly add the oil and whisk
  • add the balsamic vinegar & dijon and whisk
  • add salt & pepper to taste
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