Califonia Bountiful

Strawberry and baby spinach salad with strawberry vinaigrette

By Alex Araizaga
Historic Santa Maria Inn, Santa Maria

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Strawberry vinaigrette
12 fresh strawberries
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Spinach salad
4 cups baby spinach
16 large fresh strawberries
24 mandarin orange segments (canned or fresh)
1/2 cup bacon bits
1/2 cup won ton skins, cut in strips


For vinaigrette: Place strawberries in a blender and blend. Add water, vinegar, brown sugar, thyme and basil. Blend ingredients and slowly drizzle olive oil into blender until dressing has reached desired consistency. Refrigerate for 2 hours, if possible, or up to 1 week.

To serve: Place spinach in the center of chilled plates. Slice strawberries vertically and place atop spinach. Place 6 pieces of mandarin orange atop each salad. Sprinkle with bacon bits. Deep-fry won ton skins until they are golden brown. Place atop salad. Serve with strawberry vinaigrette.

Serves 4

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