A fresh taste for Easter dinner is a nice green salad with a touch of sweetness. With strawberry season picking up around this time of year (at least in Alabama), it’s a great addition to Easter dinner that uses fresh ingredients you can even pick yourself or grow in your own home garden. This is a simple recipe that you can toss together fairly quickly before dinner is served, or you can fancy it up a bit and skewer individual ingredients onto toothpicks to make an elegant appetizer or finger food for a bridal or baby shower. See below for how to prepare differently for such occasions. This is easy to double for a crowd or to have leftovers for yourself.
Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad
Gluten free, dairy-lactose-casein free, soy free, and can be nut free Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: None, serve immediately | Serves: 4-6
dressing: 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, Lemon zest from one lemon, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup white sugar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
salad: ¼ cup sliced natural almonds, toasted ½ cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, 8 ounces (1 ½ cups) fresh strawberries – hulled and sliced or quartered, ½ medium cucumber – seeded, halved, and thinly sliced, ¼ small red onion – sliced thin, 6 ounces fresh baby spinach.
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk until the sugar dissolves and the dressing is well blended. Place the spinach in a large serving bowl. Add strawberries, cucumber, and onion. Pour the whisked dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with almonds and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately. To make as individual appetizers, chop the onion into small thin wedges. Skewer a couple spinach leaves, onion, strawberry, and cucumber onto a toothpick. Drizzle the dressing over each skewer and sprinkle the almonds on top. Serve immediately. To toast the almonds, place on a small stoneware in a single layer and microwave on high in one minute increments. Toss between cycles and continue toasting until the almonds are lightly browned and fragrant. Or place the almonds on a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for five to ten minutes at 350 degrees, tossing every few minutes to evenly toast. Let the almonds cool completely before adding to the salad to keep from wilting the spinach.