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
- 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
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!