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

  • 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

  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. 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!

  2. I used to work at the Kona Brewing Company on the big island. That is not how we made the dressing. There is no sour cream involved. If you want it thick you slowly add the olive oil blend into the mixture while it is in the food processor. I am getting ready to make this dish for my boss at my new job and she is going to love it and add it to the menu.


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