Who brought that amazing salad? said no one ever at a BBQ, but they will with this Strawberry Maple Walnut Goat Cheese Salad. This is my mom’s favorite salad and I’m sure it will be yours. I make it so much for events, I hope people don’t think I’m a one-trick pony. 😉
I LOVE summer salads, especially fruit and nut ones because the produce section is literally your oyster. Apples, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, and grapes are my go to when it comes to fruit salads, but strawberries take the top spot. Plump, juicy, bright strawberries tossed with tangy goat cheese and sweet crunchy walnuts, your family won’t make you sit at the kids table.
First let me say, don’t be scared of goat cheese. One, because it’s sooooo good, and two, it’s become highly popular in the last few years. You can find it in any grocery store. Akin to cream cheese, it’s a bit tangier and more robust. It pairs extremely well with sweet or savory foods and I love it because it’s a lean cheese at only 5g fat depending on the brand. This salad is topped with plain old maple candied walnuts. Nah, candied walnuts are EVERYTHING!!! No explanation needed. You will find yourself eating them without the salad, going AROUND the greens and strawberries….But you know better…(Insert evil grin)
Spring greens are not only more nutritionally sound than iceberg or romaine lettuce, but it’s so pretty and colorful! Dark leafy greens are great sources of Vitamins A, C, E and K.
I also made a super simple strawberry vinaigrette for this salad. You could buy the candied walnuts and vinaigrette, but why? By making them, you control the ingredients. No worries of processed ingredients like white sugar, fructose, soybean oil (Yuck!), and the like.
So at your next summer event make this for the people you love and who love you, they won’t be thinking about the potato salad.
Strawberry Maple Walnut & Goat Cheese Salad
1c. walnuts, chopped
1/4c pure maple syrup
Pinch of Sea Salt
½ lb. strawberries, fresh or frozen thawed
1 tablespoons honey
¼ tsp. sea salt
2tbs. red wine or balsamic vinegar
1 tbs. olive oil
1 pkg. Spring Mix Lettuce
½ lb. Fresh strawberries, halved
2oz. crumbled goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 325F
- Combine walnuts, water, salt, and maple syrup in a skillet on medium heat. Stir constantly until water is evaporated.
- Spread on nonstick baking sheet or use non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes, stirring twice, until walnuts are lightly browned.
- Cool on baking sheet; walnuts will become dry and crunchy as they cool.
- Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
Put the strawberries, honey, and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. While blending, gradually add the vinegar and olive oil in a steady stream. Mix until thickened.
In a large bowl, combine lettuce, strawberries, and goat cheese. Toss lightly. When ready to serve, sprinkle candied walnuts and drizzle w/ vinaigrette.
*Vinaigrette can separate while sitting. Store covered in the refrigerator and give it a quick shake or stir before serving.