Fresh strawberries and a short list of pantry staples are all that’s needed for a dressing that’s sure to become a family favorite! 🍓
Longer, warmer days mean one thing: strawberry season is coming soon. Before long, we’ll be savoring the sweet, red, juicy gems in Mom’s Classic Shortcake (or a healthy gluten-free alternative) jams, sauces and salads (and by the handful, of course).
Last spring, I enjoyed the most heavenly strawberry salad at a local restaurant. The actual salad components weren’t anything unusual, but oh my, THE DRESSING!!!
When meeting friends for lunch, I found myself suggesting this spot so I could order the salad and try to figure out what was in that dressing.
I’m sharing my copycat recipe now, so you have it in hand when the first of the berries appear. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to enjoy it on repeat all season long.
Ultimately, my version is different than the restaurant version. It’s a more vibrant shade of pink－and dare I say just a bit tastier?
The restaurant actually uses jam in their vinaigrette, and while I did experiment over and over with this ingredient, fresh strawberries yielded the brightest flavor and offered just the right amount of natural sweetness to offset the tangy balsamic.
I briefly considered sharing this dressing alongside the salad that I’ve now made many, many times. While that is coming soon, (Update, THIS is it!) I felt strongly that this dressing is worthy of its own post.
My boys adore this salad and have literally consumed their recommended daily veggie servings via this singular, flavor-packed salad.
While I encourage you to repeatedly enjoy the dressing on a variety of salads throughout the season, I’d also love for you to share the new and interesting ways you may put it to use.
As a final note, don’t let the need for a blender turn you off. Though this appliance (or a food processor) is needed to achieve the smooth, creamy consistency, it takes just a minute to whip up and one batch will serve you well for up to two weeks of worth of salads. (The vinegar acts as a preservative, maintaining the freshness and vibrant color quite well.)
While experimenting with the dressing recently, I reached for a bottle of white balsamic vinegar and found it to be a delightful alternative to the red standby. When used, the color of the dressing will be a lighter shade of pink and the flavor, though slightly different, will be equally delicious.
Notice the different shades of red/pink in the jar behind the salad ⇧⇧ and in the closeup photo⇩⇩.