Springtime Fruits Vegetables from Your Own Garden Provide the Ingredients for This Spinach and Strawberry Salad Recipe

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It is that time of year that we must start taking advantage of the wonderful produce available to us and even start our own gardens. Salads, fresh fruits and vegetables. It is the best time for eating and growing and harvesting.

Oh my goodness, we are coming into that time of year when the eating is getting good. I love summer eating! Fresh vegetables and fruits. Salads of ever sort. Raw, cooked and any combination there of.

Now one of the things I really love is strawberries. But not the kind you get at the store, although that will do if you are in the wrong months of the year, but the kind you get from your garden, or maybe from the strawberry pot on your deck or balcony. They are so easy to grow and with a little love they are so sweet and so versatile.

Strawberries will be sweeter if they are properly fertilized. Sometimes people think because it is dirt it will grow good food. Not true. You must fertilize. I like to go to the local nursery and get some water soluble fertilizer and use it on all my deck plants. Fruit or flower inside or out. Doesn't matter they all need some great food. I mean after all you eat don't you? A living growing thing needs food. So if you want sweet strawberries you need to feed them. And it really doesn't take anymore time than you need to  just water them. Which by the way, is the other thing they need. Throw in some sunshine and you are good to go.

You'll also get all those wonderful nutrients and antioxidants and vitamins from strawberries. They are just healthy for you and make you feel good. You can't lose.

Now what about some spinach. Yes! The stuff Popeye loved. It is one of the most healthful foods out there and it is so good. It is not difficult to grow, and it grows fast so you'll be eating before you know it. Spinach loves nitrogen. You must give it plenty of sunshine and a good nitrogen rich fertilizer. It is a spring kind of plant when it gets hot the plant will get tall and gangly practically overnight. That is when it really doesn't taste good any longer. Keep up with it and harvest it when the plant is small and young. Then it will be tender and delicious.

Here is a recipe that I got from P. Allen Smith. He is one of my favorite gardeners and cooks. The thing that is unique about this recipe is not the ingredients, although they are dynamite. No it is the vinaigrette. What a great idea. I have tried this with other fruits as the fruit part of  the vinaigrette and it is always fantastic. You can switch up the vinegar too, try champagne or balsamic vinegars. They are all wonderful. Here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Salad ingredients

4 cups washed spinach, torn into bite size pieces

1 cup arugula

1 cup toasted pecans

1 cup hulled, sliced strawberries

Salt and pepper to taste


¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup honey

1/3 cup olive oil

3 or 4 hulled strawberries


Toss all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Place the vinegar, honey and strawberries in a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking as you go.

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


You can make a meal out of this salad by adding roasted chicken.


Paul Allen Smith


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