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Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Vinaigrette Baby Kale Salad

You know those classic food combinations we’ve come to love? Like pb + jelly, chocolate + pb, pork + apples, mac + cheese? I have discovered a new combo to add to that list and while it might sound out of the ordinary, once you’ve had a taste of this magical combo life as you know it will never be the same!

*Drum roll*

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Balsamic roasted strawberries! BAM!

I first discovered this in culinary school when I made balsamic roasted strawberry ice cream, the first step in this process was roasting the berries in a vinegar sugar mix which I thought was odd at the time. When they were done I tasted one just to make sure it wasn’t a total fail and I was shocked at how tasty it was! It took everything in my power not to eat said strawberries before adding them to the ice cream, I was seriously blown away, especially with me not being a vinegar fan.

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This dressing amplifies that fresh strawberry taste, it not only makes a good salad dressing but I have also used it for an ice cream topping, an accompaniment to Greek yogurt, and I’ve even added it to smoothies. Because this dressing is on the sweet side I decided to pair it with salty feta cheese and kale which tends to have a slightly bitter flavor, the pecans also add nice texture.

Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Vinaigrette Baby Kale Salad

for the vinaigrette…

1/2 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 TBS olive oil
a bit of water (maybe)

for the salad…

baby kale, spinach, or greens
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup pecans, toasted

Method:

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make the dressing toss strawberries in sugar, vinegar, and vanilla (I might have added a bit more sugar) and bake for about 15 min. or until the juice runs a dark red color. Set aside and cool slightly.

2.Add strawberries in a mixing bowl and add oil, puree until incorporated. Depending on the consistency you might need to add water in order to get a more “dressing” like texture. Taste and adjust accordingly, I added a bit more balsamic.

3. Toss greens with toasted pecans, cheese, and strawberries, drizzle dressing, toss, and serve!

salad

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