Friday, May 27, 2011

Strawberry Sesame Spinach Salad

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!

So I know that, for most people, Memorial Day is the official start of summer.

But for people that live at the beach like myself, it's also the start of traffic and crowds of tourists.

All the places that were nice and peaceful during fall, winter, and spring are now inundated with people.

And the holiday weekends (Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day) are always the most packed.

When I was young, I loved it.  I thought it was fun.

But as time goes on, I am getting weary of it.

Today I only had to drive a short distance for work (normally I drive a lot) but all I did was sit in traffic.

And more traffic.

And I missed half my lunch break because I didn't properly calculate just how long I'd be sitting in said traffic.


I was getting so frustrated. 

I just wanted to go home, and shut the door, and say "Alright, bennies," (that's what we call tourists at the Jersey shore), "you win, the beach is yours! I quit!"

But today my brother-in-law is visiting us for the first time in Asbury Park.  So I knew at some point tonight I was going to have to suck it up brave the crowds.

And probably walk up to the boardwalk.

In case you didn't know.... Shore Town + Boardwalk + Memorial Day Weekend = Crowded Craziness.

But a miraculous thing happened. 

We walked up the boardwalk and it wasn't crazy.

Sure, there were a good number of people out and about- but not only could you walk freely, you could walk quickly.

I'm a fast walker, so this makes me happy.

At the boardwalk where I grew up (in Point Pleasant Beach), I'd be willing to bet there is no fast walking happening right now.

Ha  ha! Suckers!

I knew it was a good idea to move.

What's also a good idea is making this salad for your Memorial Day barbecue.

According to my sassy middle-aged friend from Vanessa's party last weekend, this is her most requested recipe for parties.

I tweaked it slightly (it had an ungodly amount of sugar) but once you make it, it won't take you long to figure out why it's so popular.

Mr. Vittles hates vinegar, but even he enjoyed this salad.

If you're feeling crazy, you can add some feta or goat cheese.  Mmmm :)

Just stay away from my beach or I'll have to hurt you.

Strawberry Sesame Spinach Salad

  • 6 C. fresh spinach (rinsed, dried & torn into pieces if large)
  • 2 C. sliced fresh strawberries 
  • 2 T. olive or canola oil
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/4 t. paprika
  • 1/4 t. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T. sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 t. poppy seeds
  • 1/4 t. onion powder, (or 2 t. minced red onion)

In small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, Worcestershire, sesame, poppy, and onion powder.

Place strawberries and spinach in a bowl.  Top with dressing when ready to serve (do not dress in advance- spinach will wilt.  If bringing to a party, bring dressing separate from salad and dress before serving).  Serves 4.

Adapted from a family friend's recipe (original source unknown)


  1. It's amazing how quickly the streets flood with people when the weather warms.
    This salad sounds great, and I love the pictures!

  2. I always love simple, seasonal fresh salad! This is right my alley!

  3. Mmmmm, I love this kind of salad! Perfect for the holiday weekend....yum!

  4. This would definitely be a hit at our Memorial Day celebration! Thinking about adding it to my list as we speak =)

  5. You live on the beach?! Lucky! I can understand the frustration of crowds, but it's only for a 3-4 months. Trust me, you're better off on the beach than in the landlocked Midwest. ;-)

    Lovely salad... I always pair up my strawberries with fresh spinach... it's a good marriage. :)

  6. I hate crowds too. I know exactly what you mean :)I love the combination in this salad...sounds incredible! When I saw the title of this post, I immediately wondered if this recipe was from the lady who almost took her recipe back :) Glad she didn't! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Love the photos for this one! This salad sounds great. And being from the east coast, I dont even try to go to the beach any time on the weekend from now until Labor day... sooo not worth the aggravation of the drive.

  8. I want to live by you! Iowa is a plane ride from the beach :( Would be hard to deal with the crowds, but hopefully M-F isn't as bad!
    Lovely salad!


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