Monday, September 27, 2010

Strawberry Spinach Salad

One of my favorite places to have a casual dinner is Kona Brewing Company.  Not only do they have great beer and pizza, but I love their salads too.  Their original restaurant is in Kona, Hawaii and I was so happy when they opened another restaurant here on Oahu.  I could finally enjoy my favorite beer, the Wailua Wheat Ale (which has passionfruit in it) on tap, without having to wait for a trip to the Big Island. For anyone who visits the Big Island I would recommend you sign up for their brewery tour - not only is it informative, but you get samples! And for those who don't have a trip to the Islands in their immediate future Kona Brewing Company beer is available in bottles now - and they are all excellent. And, no I do not work or have any affiliation with this restaurant - I just really like their beer and food.

It was at Kona Brewing that I first tried a Strawberry Spinach Salad.  It is described on their menu as "fresh spinach covered with strawberries, toasted macadamia nuts, Gorgonzola and Ewa onions, house-made strawberry 
vinaigrette on the side".  I ordered it each time we ate there and soon realized that I would have to try and replicate the dish at home.

It turns out that it is not that hard.  I had to play around with the ratios for the dressing, but I think I came up with a pretty good copy of the original.  In this version I used goat cheese because that is what I had in the fridge but it is just as good with blue cheese.  To adjust for the different tastes in our family I sometimes serve the components of the salad in separate bowls so each person can make their own salad according to their taste.  Add some sliced rotisserie chicken and you have a quick and easy meal.



Strawberry Spinach Salad

Ingredients
  • 3 cups sliced strawberries, divided
  • 3 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar (or red if that is what you have on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, toasted and cooled
  • 10 oz spinach
  • 1/4 cup sliced sweet onion, such as Ewa, Maui, Walla Walla, or Vidalia
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
  1. Add 2 cups of strawberries to a blender or food processor.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sour cream, salt, pepper, and blend until smooth.
  3. In a large serving bowl add spinach, 1 cup sliced strawberries, toasted macadamias, onion, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Just before serving pour approximately 1/2 cup of dressing into bowl and toss to coat.  Serve immediately.
  5. Refrigerate and leftover salad dressing for use in the next few days.
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1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the Kona Brewing company! When we visited the Big Island a few years back we ate there 3 times. Each time I had this salad! I will have to research a bit, didn't know that they had opened up on Oahu. I'm hoping for a quick visit in early December with my husband, this will have to be a stop for us.
    So glad you posted a recipe!

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