I love the time of year when gardens are starting to produce and farmers markets have fresh greens for salads. Big salads are my go-to lunch and often my go-to dinner with a mug of warm bone broth on the side. This salad was inspired by the freshness of the greens and strawberries of spring and early summer.
Tossing Together Spring Salad with Berries
First: Salad Greens, Berries, and Goat Cheese
For the base of this salad I like to use mixed baby greens, but I’ll also use spinach, romaine, or other lettuces if it’s what I have available. Then, I toss in some toasted pecans and dried cranberries. Next, I slice some strawberries to put on top and dot the salad with goat cheese.
Yup, that’s right. Goat cheese. It seems to be a very polarizing cheese. Some love it and others proclaim that it tastes like goats smell and won’t touch it with a ten foot pole! If you are in the latter group, omit the cheese or use one that you like in its place. Feta, gorgonzola, and bleu are all great.
Up to this point, the salad can be made in advance and then stuck in the fridge until it’s nearly dinner time.
Second: Honey Mustard Dressing
I use a honey mustard dressing for the spring salad. The sweet tanginess goes perfectly with the fruit and creamy goat cheese and the homemade chicken strips that go on top.
I prefer to avoid a lot of the ingredients in store-bought honey mustard dressing, so I just make my own. I use simple identifiable ingredients and use it as a dressing or dipping sauce. It’s my kids’ favorite condiment for dipping.
The dressing can also be made in advance and refrigerated. Usually, I already have some in the fridge that’s leftover from another meal, which makes making this salad even simpler.
Last Step: Almond Flour Breaded Chicken Strips
The last thing I do is to make my almond flour breaded chicken strips to top the salad. They’re delicious, grain-free, and everyone in the family loves them. I usually pan fry them on the stove, but they can also be drizzled with oil and baked in the oven.
And that’s it! Spring salad with berries is my current favorite salad and I usually eat a variation of it at least once a day. Of course, there are hundreds of ways to mix it up, but this is my favorite. I’ve written the instructions to serve four, but it can be adjusted up or down easily.
Homemade Salad Dressings
When I started eating salads for a lot of my meals, I also started making my own salad dressings. If you like to make your own dressings and vinaigrettes too, check these out:
- Asian Ginger Vinaigrette
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Caesar Dressing
- French Dressing
- Honey Mustard Sauce and Dressing
- Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Real Food Ranch Dressing
- Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing
- Tangy Greek Vinaigrette
- Zesty Italian Dressing
Spring Salad with Berries and Honey Mustard Recipe
- Cook the chicken strips according to the recipe instructions and set aside.
- Prepare the honey mustard dressing according to the recipe instructions and set aside.
- Preheat a small skillet over medium heat on the stove.
- Add the pecans and toast, tossing occasionally, until they have just started to brown and smell amazing.
- Set the pecans aside until cooled.
- Put two big handfuls of lettuce/greens on a each plate.
- Chop the chicken and top each salad with equal amounts of goat cheese, toasted pecans, cranberries, sliced strawberries, and dressing.
What is your favorite salad? Do you have a variation of this one? Let me know below!