Summer just screams for fresh salads. Is there truly anything better than taking that first bite of refreshing fruits and veggies when it’s hot out? Well, the only thing that does make it better is when the produce used to make the salad is local, fresh and sustainably grown.
Ever since I was little, I valued eating local, fresh fruits and veggies, even if I didn’t realize that’s what I was valuing at the time. We always had a big garden overflowing with beautiful food, we made weekly trips to a local farm stand in town and shopped the local and organic sections at the grocery store (when we weren’t driving directly to farms to pick up our produce). I was so young that I simply knew the high-quality food my parents bought from local vendors or picked from the garden tasted better.
As I’ve grown up, these values have grown with me and grown even stronger. I understand the implications of eating locally, organically and sustainably and I truly see eating as an ethical act now. The food systems we choose to support with our money and eating habits make a world of difference.
And when I get to cook with food that I know came from a reliable and sustainable source, it makes that meal mean so much more. To me, it gives the meal more soul, and I love that!
This salad incorporates all of that summertime, sustainable-food soul and love with every bite. It packs so many nutrients and diverse flavors, making the perfect side dish for any summer barbecue, dinner party or picnic.
Sweet Summer Salad + Strawberry Vinaigrette
Serves: 4 people
Prep Time: 20 minutes
- 6 packed cups spinach
- 20-25 strawberries
- 3 large golden beets
- 1 granny smith apple
- 1/4 cup diced red spring onion
- 1/3 cup pistachios
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 12 strawberries
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
- Wash your spinach and place in a large bowl. You can chop the leaves if you’d like, but I like keeping them whole.
- Peel your golden beets and cut into small cubes and steam until tender.
- While your beets are cooking, cut your granny smith apple into small cubes as well and place in a skillet or pan with your coconut oil. Sautée on low until they start to turn golden.
- While your beets and apples cook, cut your strawberries into small pieces and toss with your spinach, along with the red spring onions.
- Once the beets and apples are done cooking, toss with the rest of the salad.
- Chop your pistachios and sprinkle on top.
- For the dressing, place the strawberries, apple cider vinegar, water and honey into a blender or food processor and blend on high until all ingredients are combined.
- Drizzle on top of your salad and enjoy!