SPINACH AND STRAWBERRIES BALSAMIC SALAD
Tangy balsamic vinegar married with sweet maple syrup creates a flavorful salad with seasonal spinach.
This is a spring and summer school food service recipe for Spinach, Lettuce, Maple Syrup, Berries, and Cucumbers.
Cooking and prep level: Basic.
Adapted from New School Cuisine, featured in the Vermont New School Cuisine Cookbook.
- Prep Time1 hr 15 min
- Cook Time15 min
- Total Time1 hr 30 min
- Serving Size1¼ cup
- Energy134 cal
- 2 ½ lbs Sunflower or Pumpkin Seeds (optional)
- 6 lbs Cucumbers
- 6 lbs 8 oz Strawberries, fresh
- 4 lbs 8 oz Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 5 lbs 8 oz Baby Spinach
- 1 c Balsamic vinegar
- 12 tbsps local Maple syrup, real
- 2 tbsps Dijon mustard
- 3 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Black pepper
- 2 cups Vegetable oil
Toast seeds in a large skillet, over medium heat stirring often, until beginning to brown. Let cool.
Peel cucumbers, cut in half, and then slice ¼ inch thick.
Hull strawberries and cut ¼ thick slices.
Mix spinach and romaine in a large tub or bowl.
Whisk or process (w/ steel blade) vinegar, syrup, mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until combined.
Slowly add oil in a stream and continue to emulsify for 10-20 seconds. Set aside.
Add strawberries, cucumbers, and seeds to greens. Drizzle dressing, tossing to coat.
CCP: Hold at a minimum of 41 F through service.
Do you know how to balance sweet and tart, or sharp, flavors?
The tangy flavor of balsamic vinegar balances the sweetness of real maple syrup creating a perfect fit. By combining fresh spinach (a sharp flavor) and fresh strawberries (a sweet flavor) you create a flavor balance in the salad. Balancing flavors in your recipes creates a complex and pleasing taste profile as opposed to a overly sweet or bitter experience.
Experimenting with spinach recipes in school and at home increases your customers’ exposure to the vegetable and allow them to taste fresh, local spinach in raw and in cooked applications.
A great resource for spinach recipes can be found at PBS.org/recipes
- 100 servings per container
- Serving Size1¼ cup
- Amount per serving
- % Daily Value*
- Total Fat10.43 g13.37%
- Saturated Fat1.2 g6%
- Trans Fat0 g
- Cholesterol0 mg0%
- Sodium58.734 mg2.55%
- Total Carbohydrate8.56 g3.11%
- Dietary Fiber2.76 g9.86%
- Protein3.72 g7.44%