As the weather warms up, I find myself craving salads, especially the light, fruity variety like this Strawberry and Walnut Salad with Walnut Balsamic Vinaigrette. The sweet juicy strawberries are the perfect foil to the mild chicken and avocado and walnuts add a lovely crunch.
Strawberry and Walnut Salad with a Walnut Balsamic Vinaigrette
Perfect for a light lunch or salad supper, my Strawberry and Walnut Salad is seriously nutrient dense so great for helping you to keep your spring healthy eating resolutions. Simply omit the chicken to make this recipe vegetarian or vegan, adding some extra avocado and walnuts, if you like. I like to use Little Gem lettuce for this salad but any crisp green lettuce will work just fine. I’d skip the Iceberg variety but Cos or Romaine lettuce work really well.
This is a great salad for people like me who find themselves working through lunch without meaning to. If you keep healthy ingredients like poached chicken breasts, avocado and fresh strawberries on hand, it takes literally minutes to throw together. Strawberry and Walnut Salad packs a fantastic nutritional punch with the good fats in the avocado and walnuts, the lean protein in the chicken and the vitamins in the strawberries.
A Hearty Supper Salad
While I often prefer warm salads like my Salade Frisée aux Lardons for supper, my Strawberry and Walnut Salad is definitely hearty enough to satisfy when it comes to an evening meal on a hot summer day. Just add some crusty bread or hot rolls for those with really big appetites.
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A Good Dressing Makes a Difference
A good salad is very dependent on its dressing and this one is no exception. Walnut oil is best for the vinaigrette as it really draws out the flavour of the nuts but mild olive oil works as well. (Extra virgin olive oil isn’t needed in this case. The flavour can be quite heavy and you don’t want to overpower the delicate taste of the strawberries.)
Please use a good balsamic vinegar, one that has been aged for at least 12 years. You get what you pay for when it comes to balsamic vinegar and as a little goes a long way, it’s well worth buying the best you can afford. Dijon mustard adds a lovely tang. If you are out of honey you can use a teaspoon of sugar instead but I do prefer the flavour of honey in this case.
Enjoy my versatile Strawberry and Walnut Salad for lunch or dinner one day soon. The fresh flavour of this healthy salad is bound to energise and uplift you, whatever the weather!
Strawberry and Walnut Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette – Printable Recipe
- 3 cups shredded crisp green lettuce
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 3 celery sticks, finely chopped
- half a ripe avocado, peeled and chopped in small pieces
- 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (optional)
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil or mild olive oil
- 4 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon runny honey
- To make the dressing, thoroughly shake or whisk together the oil, Balsamic vinegar, mustard and honey.
- In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries, chopped celery, avocado, chicken (if using) and walnuts together.
- Divide the shredded lettuce between two plates.
- Top with the tossed strawberries, celery, avocado, chicken and walnuts.
- Drizzle with the dressing.
- Serve at once.