Salade d’épinards aux fraises et pignons de pin

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Spinach salad with strawberries and pine nuts

This colorful salad for spring makes a lovely starter or a light main dish at lunchtime, accompanied by fresh bread and slices of proscuitto or a similar country ham. Roasting the pine nuts adds flavor but it is not essential if you’re pressed for time.

2 handfuls baby spinach leaves (about 1/4 pound, or 100 g.)
1 small red onion
2 tbsp. pine nuts
4 strawberries
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (400 F, 200 C).

Wash the spinach and spin it dry in a salad spinner. Place it in a shallow salad bowl.

Peel the red onion and slice it into thin rings. Scatter the rings over the spinach.

Rinse the strawberries, slice off the stems and cut them into quarters lengthwise. Place them on top of the salad.

Place the pine nuts in a pie tin and roast them in the oven for about 3 minutes, until they start to turn golden. Be careful — they can easily burn, so check their progress frequently until they’re done. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the other ingredients.

In a small bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Stir in the olive oil one tablespoon at a time to create a smoothly emulsified sauce.

Just before serving, spoon the sauce over the salad. Bring it to the table before mixing, because it’s beautiful to behold. Serves 2.


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