Berry Spinach Salad with Feta and Spiced Pecans
For whatever reason, I often get asked to bring a salad to a party or social gathering. Maybe it’s because salads are so easy to share. This berry salad with spinach, feta and spiced pecans is a crowd-pleasing favorite, and it usually disappears fast from a buffet at a party. Of course, you can also make a smaller version just for yourself or your family. The combination of sweet, crunchy, salty, tangy, creamy and earthy flavors in this salad make it a winner.
To make this salad, start with a bed of your favorite greens. I like to use spinach, butter lettuce and arugula. Layer on sliced strawberries and blueberries, crumbled feta cheese, and spiced pecans. For dressing, I use balsamic glaze, olive oil, salt and pepper.
A salad is only as good as the ingredients you put into it. I always look for a good quality imported feta cheese made from sheep’s milk. This brand is my favorite:
Last Sunday, I brought a giant bowl of this salad to a party held after the baby blessing of my niece and her husband’s new baby. Whether you call it a baby blessing, naming ceremony, baby dedication, christening, or something else, it’s such a joy to celebrate the addition of a new little one into the world.
Here’s a photo of my salad making its appearance on the buffet table:
The big bowls behind it are full of a Jell-o based salad or side dish that in my family we just call “fluff.” It’s made from whipped topping, Jell-o and fruit. Salads made with Jell-o are bit of a culinary quirk in Utah, where I live. At this party, we had both green and orange fluff, so you can tell it was a special occasion.
- 8 cups salad greens, including spinach, butter lettuce, arugula or any combination
- 3 oz. feta cheese, preferably sheep or goat’s milk
- 3 cups mixed berries, sliced strawberries and blueberries
- 1/2 cup chopped [url href=”http://foodlove.com/sugar-spice-pecans/” target=”_blank”]Sugar & Spice Pecans[/url], or store-bought glazed pecans
- 2 tablespoons [url href=”http://foodlove.com/clean-eating-balsamic-glaze/” target=”_blank”]Clean Eating Balsamic Glaze[/url], or store-bought balsamic glaze
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place the washed and dried greens in the bottom of a medium salad bowl. Layer on the berries, crumbled feta cheese, and glazed pecans.
- Drizzle the balsamic glaze and olive oil over the salad. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. You may want to omit the salt or use very little, because feta cheese is already salty.
- Toss lightly before serving.