Strawberry Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans and Raspberry Vinaigrette

If you ask an English person what they think about American cuisine, they’ll probably say fast food: burgers, fries, shakes, and hot-dogs, and yet–after living in America for quite some time, I have come to realize that Americans are actually pretty obsessed with salads! I don’t know if this is just the region in which I live, or the family’s tradition in which I married into, or the types of restaurants I sometimes visit–but Americans love their salads and have just about every variety you can think of.

To me, this salad recipe is just about as American as you can get! Take something savory, and make it really sweet!! In England we don’t usually mix sweet things (like strawberries, raspberries and candied pecans) with savory things (like spinach and onions) yet we should–because this is one of THE best salads ever. I wasn’t quite sure if I was eating dinner or dessert–but that’s besides the point! I want all of my English friends to try this recipe and tell me what they think!

Ingredients for the vinaigrette:
1 small punnet of raspberries
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the candied pecans:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 cup pecans

Ingredients for the salad:
6 oz (approx 6 cups) spinach leaves
1 pint (approx.16 medium-size) fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a magic bullet or blender combine all ingredients for the vinaigrette
Puree until smooth  To make the candied pecans, melt the butter in the sugar in a pan over medium heat. Add the pecans and stir to coat well Line a plate with parchment paper, and transfer the coated pecans on to it. Leave to set for 10 minutes or so
For the salad, lay out a bed of spinach leaves onto a plate, then top with sliced strawberries, candied pecans, sweet onions, and crumbled feta cheese. Pour the vinaigrette on top The first time I ever had a spinach salad, I thought it was the weirdest thing ever. Maybe my taste buds are Americanizing like my accent after living here for so long–but this is seriously one of the BEST salads I have ever eaten in my entire life, and i’m pretty sure I could be quite content to eat it every day!!

I’m excited to make lots more American dishes this Spring and summer. To me, when I think of American food, I also think of grilling! Juicy, tender steaks, BBQ chicken, and of course, lots more salads!!

I hope you all love this recipe as much as I do!
<3 Sarah

P.S> A lot of my American friends and family think there is no “American food” so what are some dishes you think are American??