Once we start to get even a glimpse of warm weather, I'm fully on board with spring and summer salads! This Spinach and Arugula Salad with Strawberries combines fresh, light flavors of spring and summer with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette. And it's a salad that you'll be craving all summer long!
As always, I do include a few affiliate links in this post for products I truly use and love. This just means that if you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I'll earn a little money (at no cost to you) to keep the kitchen up and running, which I promise to use to create more fun content like this! One of those affiliates is with Amazon, which requires a very clear disclosure: as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you have any questions about affiliates, please reach out!
Ingredients you'll need
- Quinoa: of course! You can use either white or tri-colored quinoa.
- Shallot: this is absolutely necessary to create the delicious crispy shallots, and also to flavor the olive oil for the dressing.
- Olive oil: you'll use this to crisp up the shallots, and then it becomes the base of your dressing.
- Spinach and arugula: feel free to mix up the quantities, or use another type of lettuce if you have something else on hand!
- Strawberries: fresh strawberries are best here, and feel free to be heavy-handed.
- Avocado: one avocado should be plenty for your salad, but you can always use more if you want to!
- Fresh basil and fresh parsley
- Pecans: toast these in the oven for a few minutes, then coarsely chop.
- A few kitchen staples including vegetable broth, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and honey.
Equipment to get started
Since it's a salad, there isn't really much you need! A few favorite things I like to use are:
Making Crispy Shallots
Finely slice your shallots and heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and once they start bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are completely dark and crispy (10-15 minutes). There is a fine line between crispy and burnt, and they will turn quickly, so watch out!
Once crispy, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Transfer the oil to a small bowl to cool before creating your dressing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a different kind of berries in this recipe?
Yes, definitely! This would work really well with blueberries as well.
Do I need to make the crispy shallots?
I highly recommend it. They are delicious, and they add a flavor to the olive oil for the dressing that is just irreplaceable.
How should I store any leftovers?
Salad is best eaten the same day, but if you have leftovers, package them in an airtight container and store in the fridge. It's best if you can store the salad separately from the dressing. If your salad is already dressed, it tends to go limp sooner.
Do I need to let ingredients cool before assembling this salad?
Yes. This is a great salad to make the pieces ahead of time, and then assemble when you're ready. You'll want to make sure your quinoa is cooled before you add it to the spinach and arugula, and you'll want your olive oil to be cooled before you make the dressing. If you put everything together while still warm, the salad will wilt faster.
Below is my recipe for Spinach and Arugula Salad with Strawberries. It's short and sweet, and I hope you love it! Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Spinach and Arugula Salad with Strawberries
- ½ cup quinoa rinsed
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups arugula lightly packed
- 2 cups spinach lightly packed
- ½ cup strawberries trimmed and quartered
- 1 avocado sliced
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil chopped
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- ¼ cup pecans toasted and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread pecans on a small baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside to cool, then coarsely chop.
- Combine the vegetable broth, quinoa, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and set aside to cool.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine olive oil and shallots. Once the shallots are bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occassionally, until crisp and golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shallots to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Transfer the olive oil to a small bowl to cool.
- In a small bowl, make the dressing. Combine the cooled olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, salt and black pepper. Whisk until smooth and combined.
- In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, arugula, cooled quinoa, basil and parsley. Pour in ⅓ of the dressing and toss to combine. You want to err on the side of less dressing - you can always add more, but you can't take it out!
- To build the salad, use the lettuce and quinoa mixture as the base. Add strawberry slices, avocado slices, chopped pecans, crispy shallots, and additional salt and pepper, to taste. Add additional dressing as needed.