Fresh Spinach (or tender garden lettuce) and Strawberry Salad
From the kitchen of Jo Anne Leone
Serves 4 - 6
The baby spinach and tender leafed lettuce springing from the early gardens is just so delicious. Both of these greens seem to arrive at the same time as our mountain strawberries. Combine the three with pecans, bacon and crumbled blue cheese (optional) and this wonderful salad is a meal all its own. Serve it with cornbread crackers or a toasted slice of ciabatta bread. Um- um -um!
4 - 6 Cups fresh Baby Spinach (Rip some of the leaves up to add the oils of the Spinach leaves to the salad) or tear tender young garden lettuce.
1/2 cup of your favorite bottled Sweet Vidalia Salad Dressing or Poppy Seed Dressing
1 1/2 Cups of sliced fresh strawberries (measure the berries after they have been sliced)
3/4 Cup of pecan halves (** Sweet Butter Roasted recipe follows)
10 slices of cooked bacon crumbled
3/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Just before you are ready to serve, toss greens, 1 cup of strawberries, bacon, salt, and pepper with the dressing. Serve on a large platter or dish out into individual salad plates. Sprinkle remaining strawberries, pecans and (optional) blue cheese on top and serve immediately.
** Sweet Butter Roasted Pecans: Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a pan and toss the pecans in the butter. Remove pecans from pan and lay them flat on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar over them and bake in an oven at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes. Cool and toss into salad.