This Spinach, Strawberry, Pomegranate, Feta Salad has flavors and textures that will tickle every palate. Plus, it’s made with my absolute favorite, go-to salad dressing, a classic Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe!
Bill would be happy with a lettuce and tomato salad topped with French or ranch dressing. I like mine a bit more jazzy, with fruits, nuts, and cheese. And almost always with a vinaigrette.
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Spinach, Strawberry, Pomegranate, Feta Salad
The pomegranates at my local market have been disappointing. I’ve been unimpressed with their pale arils and lackluster flavor. When in season, I adore their rosy color amongst the rainbow of other fruit on a fall or winter fruit platter.
They create an exquisite presentation when cracked open with a few of the gem-like berries spilling from the shell. I had to resort to plan B for a recent coffee I hosted, as I was underwhelmed by my purchase. How I wish my Melissa’s delivery had come that week.
But the timing was right for a beautiful winter salad. I love the contrast of the jewel-toned strawberries and pomegranate arils with the beautiful green spinach leaves. some nuts for crunch and some salty feta for a creamy touch round out this terrific salad!
The Best Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
Once my ingredients were ready to go, all I had to do was whip up a salad dressing. My sister can drizzle in a bit of this and that and come up with an outstanding vinaigrette. I hover, begging her to measure each ingredient so I can reproduce it at home.
But she was back in Denver, so I was left to my own devices. I think I finally reached perfection. This dressing rocks. It’s the best balsamic vinaigrette I’ve ever made. It’s now my go-to salad dressing.
Tips for Making a Vinaigrette
- I like to make most of my salad dressings in a Pyrex measuring cup. The spout makes it easy to pour into a jar to store, plus the markings along the sides help with measuring.
- Put your vinegar into your bowl or measuring cup first. Then whisk in any seasonings, mustard, and liquids except for your oil.
- I love a good aged balsamic vinegar. It should offer some sweetness and be slightly syrupy in texture. You can use other vinegars, but you may want to add a little honey or sugar to make up for the lack of sweetness.
- Once your vinegar and seasonings are whisked to combine, you can slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking continuously. This allows the salad dressing to “emulsify” or thicken to a consistency that will not easily separate.
- Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil. For cooking, it’s fine to use regular olive oil, but extra virgin is the best for a salad dressing.
- The addition of Dijon mustard adds a bit of piquancy to the flavor, but it also helps emulsify the salad dressing. If you don’t like mustard, start with just a teaspoon. I doubt you’ll even taste it.
So get out your whisk and make sure you use a top-notch balsamic vinegar. I was the lucky recipient of Star Fine Food’s Gold Edition Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, which worked like a charm and produced a scrumptious topping for this lovely salad. Plus, Melissa’s Foods supplied me with some gorgeous pomegranates and Brussels sprouts.
Disclosure: Melissa’s Foods supplied me with a lovely supply of fresh pomegranates and Brussels sprouts. I was not compensated for writing this post and the opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Melissa’s Foods.
Star Fine Foods sent me samples of their Gold Edition Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Vinaigrette Portion Packs and EVOO Red & White Wine Vinegar Single Serve Packs. I was not compensated for writing this post and the opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Star Fine Foods. Please click through the links to learn about these terrific products.
- 1/2 cup sugared pecans (see below)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
- Seeds (arils) from one small pomegranate
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, premium, aged
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- To make sugared pecans, add the pecans plus 1 tablespoon sugar to a nonstick saute pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, till sugar melts and pecans are coated. Remove to non-stick foil or parchment paper to cool.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk together vinegar, mustard and garlic. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly till well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place spinach in serving bowl, top with onion, berries, Feta, pomegranate arils, and cooled pecans. Toss with vinaigrette just before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 456 Total Fat: 37g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 28g Cholesterol: 17mg Sodium: 572mg Carbohydrates: 30g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 22g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 6g