Balsamic-Marinated Strawberry Salad


Where have you gone, Joe Pistachio?

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Bonnie Published by
  • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries
  • 2-3 handfulls triple-washed baby spinach
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 T. high quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 T. pistachios, chopped

The original version calls for pistachios, but I figured that most of us would rather NOT get salmonella poisoning at the moment. Until the FDA gives us the go ahead, just substitute with chopped roasted unsalted pecans, almonds or cashews. I had a total “Sound of Music” moment last weekend when I went with some friends to Sweet Berry Farm here in Marble Falls. The weather was perfect, and all I wanted to do was twirl around in the strawberry fields. Lennon would have approved. However, I did come home with 7.5 pounds of strawberries, most of which I ended up giving away, but I had to use the rest myself, and this is what happened.

The How-To

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil until homogenous. Thinly slice the shallot and drown the shavings in your vinaigrette. Wash and dry strawberries, remove stems, and slice directly into your vinaigrette; toss to coat. You can leave the strawberries marinating as is for up to an hour or so, as the flavors will only become more intense. When you’re ready to serve, gently toss the baby spinach into the marinating strawberries, portion out onto dishes, and top with chopped nuts.


Using high quality ingredients are the key to any fresh dish, but a really good balsamic vinegar here is the difference between having this salad and CRAVING this salad. Look for a top-shelf (literally) aged balsamic vinegar; a good bottle will cost around $15.

This recipe should make 2 big side salads but can easily transmogrify into a meal with the addition of a toasted piece of crusty bread, grilled chicken and/or warm sauted goat cheese (post soon to come on that one). Once the whole fear-of-salmonella thing passes, I would highly recommend reverting back to pistachios.

8 Responses to “Balsamic-Marinated Strawberry Salad”

  • Gay Stricklin:

    Looks wonderful. We picked fresh strawberries over Spring Break, wish I’d had this recipe then! And, as a Calvin and Hobbes fan, I love it that you transmogrify things. Anxiously awaiting the book…

  • Bonnie:

    I’m so glad someone got my Watterson reference!

  • Gay Stricklin:

    always here for you, sweet bonnie castle!

  • Joe Feuille:

    I managed to score 4 lbs of strawberries from the city market yesterday for $3. I immediately got some of those strawberries soaking. Thanks, Bon.

  • Bonnie:

    What a score! Nicely done, sir. Nicely done.

  • Strawberries + Balsamic Vinegar = Best Flavor Combination Since Salted Caramel | The Stimulist:

    [...] for the vinegar, the older the better. Chef Bonnie Walton instructs, “Look for a top-shelf (literally) aged balsamic vinegar; a good bottle will cost [...]

  • Bonnie:

    Thanks for the nod! I’d hardly call myself a chef–just someone who’s obsessed with good food. I’ll have to try those cupcakes soon…

  • Something Sweet For Spring: Strawberries! « Asterisky:

    [...] three ingredients. A bottle of balsamic vinegar can be used afterward for balsamic vinaigrette on salads (also with strawberry pieces), or with olive oil for bread dipping. It also works for marinades, [...]