Adding some veggies to book club (strawberry spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette)

This is a disappointing post for me, personally, simply because I didn't get finishing touch pictures! This is one of my favorite salads for entertaining and it is a great crowd pleaser!  And it looks so pretty when it is done.  I made this for book club a few weeks ago to go with the King Ranch Casserole I made.  It was so good as usual and was a perfect addition to my spread.

I went to visit my best friend, Toni, in Fairhope, Alabama a few weeks ago and I went to the Happy Olive while I was there.  It is such a fun store full of olive oils, vinegars, sauces, teas and other fun little kitchen items.  I picked up some strawberry balsamic vinegar and some basil olive oil while I was there.  I decided to make that into a dressing for my favorite entertaining salad.  It was delicious. You can use regular flavors for both, and I usually do.  I have put the regular versions in the recipe below.

If you are having a party, guests or just want a party in your mouth at lunch, make this!  It is perfect in the spring when strawberries are in season.  I wish I had a picture for you but trust your imagination from just seeing the ingredients! If you are feeling really wild, some avocado may add even more flavor! Full recipe after the montage.

Everything's better with bacon!
Note to self, cook bacon the day before so your house doesn't smell like it for book club.
Hulling strawberries is weirdly soothing to me.
I love strawberry season!
Spinach Strawberry Salad

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

6 cups baby spinach
1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, top removed (hulled) and sliced
1/3 cup toffee pecans (or chopped walnuts or almonds)
1 small log of goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 pieces of bacon cooked and chopped into small pieces.

In a large bowl combine the salad ingredients. Pour dressing over salad, toss well to combine.

Happy Cooking!


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