Usually, I’m not a fan of fruit with savory. But there is something about strawberry spinach salad that simply works. In the past, I’ve enjoyed it with a lemon poppy seed dressing, but this recipe is made with a unique and delicious almond vinaigrette.
Dairy-Free Strawberry Spinach Salad made Fresh for the Season
Over a decade ago, I featured this fresh strawberry spinach salad from A Century of Flavors. It’s a cookbook by the family-run producer of pure extracts, Nielsen-Massey. Today I’m doing a full update on this recipe post, and I’ve added a few options.
Make it a Meal
For a light entrée, top this strawberry spinach salad with cooked chickpeas (for vegan) or grilled chicken (for just dairy free). These proteins complement the fruit and nuts nicely.
If you have it, use almond oil in place of the canola oil. If not, you can substitute another neutral oil, like grapeseed, rice bran, or vegetable. Avocado oil is also a great option for this recipe.
Speaking of avocado, those tender green slices are wonderful in this salad. Other great additions include blueberries, pecans, edamame, sprouts, or fresh basil.
If you are allergic, or simply aren’t an almond fan, you can omit the almond extract in the vinaigrette, and substitute sunflower seed kernels for the almond slices.
Special Diet Notes: Strawberry Spinach Salad
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and optionally paleo. Just be sure to choose the oil that suits your dietary needs.
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ cup non-GMO canola oil (see post above for options)
- ¼ cup natural rice vinegar
- 10 ounces baby spinach leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced, plus additional for garnish
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup sliced almonds, plus additional for garnish
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, maple syrup, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add the oil in a fine stream, whisking constantly until incorporated. This will help to emulsify your salad dressing. Add the vinegar slowly, whisking constantly.
- Put the spinach, strawberries, onion, and almond in a large bowl and gently toss to combine.
- Pour the vinaigrette, as needed, over the salad and toss to coat.
- Garnish with additional strawberries and almonds.