The flavor of this baby spinach salad sparkles with the bright acidity of red wine vinegar, its tartness tempered by the sweetness of fresh orange juice. Roasting the strawberries with a bit of sugar intensifies their fruitiness and softens their texture, creating a nice counterpoint to the salty cheese and crunch toasted almonds.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma
- 2 pints large strawberries (1 pound total)
- 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted
- 9 cups baby spinach
- 5 ounces pecorino romano cheese, shredded
- 1 Preheat an oven to 400°F.
- 2 Using a paring knife, hull the strawberries and cut them in half lenghtwise. Spread the berries on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and several grinds of pepper. Toss to coat the berries evenly, then spread them out again. Roast until softened, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
- 3 In a small nonreactive bowl, whisk together the vinegar, orange juice, tarragon, the 1 tablespoon sugar, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and several grinds of the pepper until the sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk in the remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil until well blended to make a vinaigrette. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- 4 In a small bowl, stir together the almonds and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Whisk the vinaigrette to recombine, drizzle about one-third of it over the spinach and toss well (reserve the remaining vinaigrette for another use). Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- 5 Divide the dressed spinach evenly among individual plates, top each serving with an equal amount of the roasted strawberries, and spinkle with the almonds and cheese. Serve immediately.