Spinach mango strawberry salad with ginger date dressing
A bright summer salad with baby spinach, succulent strawberries, mango chunks and a sweet-tart dressing.
Fresh spinach is one of the best foods in the world that you can feed your body – no joke. Adding vitamin C-rich fruit and a nutritious dressing with no fat takes this salad to the top of the totem pole of healthy foods. The best part is that it tastes fabulous. No need to close your eyes and wince as you shove spinach in your mouth trying not to inhale – you’ll enjoy every delicious bite and ask for more.
The dressing is a one-of-a-kind combination of sweet and tart ingredients, resulting in a fresh, tangy flavor. The chopped dates add a good dose of sweetness to combat the tartness of the lemon and ginger, and the pineapple adds its own sweetness and flavor profile.
This salad is just begging for an outdoor picnic in the park, but works well as a packed lunch, too. Just don’t make too much of it at a time; once the strawberries are washed and sliced, they last about 24 hours before they start to lose their freshness. The dressing lasts for several weeks in the fridge, so double up and have some ready for the next time you see some gorgeous strawberries and ripe mangoes in the market.
- 1 pound baby spinach
- 1 pound strawberries
- 2 ripe mangoes
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pecans, optional
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger (or 1/2 tablespoon powdered ginger)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For the dressing:
Pour dressing ingredients into a cruet or glass bottle. Shake well. Allow dates to soak up the fruit juices and ginger for at least 30 minutes.
Wash and dry strawberries. Slice thickly.
Cut mango into chunks.
Toss spinach with onions, strawberries and mango chunks.
Pour dressing over salad immediately before serving and toss to lightly coat. Don’t overload the salad with fruit or dressing – it’ll weigh it down and take the focus away from that bright, gorgeous spinach. (If you’ve got extra strawberry slices and mango chunks, nosh away. Consider it a chef’s bonus.)
Top with toasted pecans if desired. To toast, spread pecans out on baking sheet and bake at 350° F for about 6 minutes or until nuts are just starting to darken.
Note: Some people won’t enjoy the dates in their salad once they’ve gotten soft. You can leave them in the dressing cruet simply to sweeten the dressing, but when pouring, allow only the liquid to come through. That’s a matter of personal preference. This chef eats soggy dates – but then again, there’s not much she doesn’t eat.
Related Topics: Salads