Summery spinach salad with strawberries includes spring onions, vegan feta cheese, celery & pistachios. It’s finished with balsamic vinaigrette for a delightful light lunch. Serve it with grilled tofu or marinated lentils for a full meal. Vegan & gluten-free.
Because of their growing season, I associate strawberries with the best times of the year.
Strawberries are the domain of long sunny days, warm walks, picnics, fireflies, and farmers markets. They also happen to pop up in time for my birthday, wedding anniversary, and summer vacations.
Even aside from their inherent juicy sweetness, strawberries have some very positive associations.
This summery spinach salad with strawberries highlights some of the best of the season. It includes spring onions, celery, non-dairy feta, and pistachios for a little nutty crunch.
It’s bright and light in all of the ways that you want when the temperatures are warm and the humidity is on the rise.
Since strawberries are the star of the show here, make sure to use the brightest, juiciest ones you can find!
The salad is topped with a drizzling of homemade balsamic vinaigrette. The pungent tartness of the vinegar pairs particularly nicely with the ripeness of the berries.
It’s easy to make. Just pour a few simple ingredients in a bowl, give it a whisk, and you’re good to go.
You’ll likely have twice as much vinaigrette as you’ll need. However, it’s better to have too much than not enough. You can save the leftovers in the refrigerator for future salad endeavors.
Vegan feta cheeseThis tangy vegan feta cheese is made with blanched almonds. You can buy them already skinned, or you can skin the almonds yourself at home.
(Need some guidance? Check out this post on how to blanch almonds.)
The bright, briny flavors of the cheese work beautifully with the sweetness of the sliced strawberries.
If you don’t feel like making the cheese from scratch, you can either omit it, replace it with sliced avocado, or use store-bought vegan feta. My favorite brands are Herbivorous Butcher and Violife.
Pistachios for crunch
Finally, finish out the salad with a sprinkling of pistachios for crunch. Other delicious alternatives include candied pecans, walnuts, or roasted cashews.
What to serve with it
To make a meal of this salad, pair it with roasted gnocchi with almond pesto, a vegan chicken salad sandwich, marinated lentils, or easy baked tofu as a protein-packed addition. It’s also a nice light weeknight meal with lemony potatoes.
Oh, and don’t forget a little bowl of warmed Castelvetrano olives with lemon & garlic on the side.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes! You can make the salad a day or two ahead of time.
However, be sure to store the dressing separately. Wet spinach gets wilty. So toss the salad with dressing just before serving.
The dressing will last up to five days in the refrigerator. The oil will harden in the refrigerator. So set it out on the counter for about a half an hour before using again. Then give it a good shake.
Spinach salad with strawberries & vegan feta
For the salad
- 3 cups spinach Roughly 2 ounces of spinach. If the spinach is extra large, feel free to chop.
- 1 celery stalk sliced
- 1 green onion sliced
- 1/2 cucumber quartered and sliced
- 1/2 heaping cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup vegan feta cheese or sliced avocado
- 2 Tablespoons pistachios
To make salad
- Toss all of the ingredients in a large salad bowl. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette on the side, so that guests can top their own salads just before eating.
To make the balsamic vinaigrette
- Put the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, stoneground mustard, maple syrup, and salt into a bowl. Whisk with a fork or whisk until it has a thick viscosity. Serve right away or refrigerate for later use in a covered container. If the oil separates from the vinegar, just give it a good shake.
Content, recipe, and photos updated June 2020. Originally posted June 2017.