This salad is bursting with all of the best flavors of summer – and then some.  It’s a spin off of the classic strawberry and goat cheese spinach salad that I’m sure you’ve had, a deluxe version, if you will.  There are a few ingredients that take this salad to the next level, but my opinion changes with each bite as to exactly which ingredient takes it over the top.  First bite- it’s the bacon.  It’s definitely the bacon (it’s always the bacon, right?).  Next bite- no, no, it’s the honey roasted pecans.  Note to self: make a bigger batch of these next time so I have extra to snack on.  Next bite- oh the BASIL.  That big mouthful of basil is definitely what sets this salad apart.  While I debate the merits of this salad with each successive bite, I finally come to the conclusion that’s it’s just DAMN GOOD.

The Ultimate Summer Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of baby spinach
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked
  • 2-3 oz of soft goat cheese
  • 1 cup of strawberries, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup of pecans
  • 2 TBSP honey, divided
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup of loosely packed fresh basil, torn into bite size pieces
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 2 TBSP raspberry white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss pecans with 1 TBSP of honey and spread out on baking sheet.  Cook for 6 minutes, stir, and then cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with a pinch of salt when they come out of the oven, then let cool completely.  You can also cook your bacon in the oven at this time – it usually takes about 20 minutes to get perfectly crispy bacon.  Once the bacon and pecans are cooled, roughly chop.

For the dressing, combine avocado oil, raspberry vinegar, 1 TBSP honey, and salt.  You can whisk, blend, or (my favorite), put the ingredients in a jar and shake for a minute.

Combine spinach, crumbled goat cheese, strawberries, avocado, basil, pecans, and bacon.  Toss with dressing and enjoy!

This salad is delicious as a main course with grilled or rotisserie chicken too!

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