Strawberry Cobb Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
This strawberry cobb salad was a hit with the bacon and candied nuts and strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. You can easily make it Whole30 friendly by using plain roasted nuts and compliant bacon!
Before I gush about this strawberry salad — so many great things happened this week!
My eldest turned 11. *sob* It’s crazy to think that she was a baby when I started blogging. Now she’s tall and leggy and bakes independently. And is completely obsessed with Harry Potter. (This phase is WAY better than the Disney Princess black hole. For sure.) We’re throwing her a Harry Potter party tomorrow with a few of her friends, so I’ll show you guys all the fun happenings on my Instagram stories.
Also, a podcast I was interviewed on a couple of months ago went live this week. You can find the episode here on the We Get To Know Podcast — a fun new podcast that highlights online influencers. Click over if you want to listen to me talk about random stuff, like trying to get four kids to eat (relatively) healthy, my thoughts on blogging, and my #1 parenting tip.
Turns out I giggle quite a bit when I’m nervous. I’ll just hide under my bed now.
AND I got my first therapeutic gemstone necklace this week. I’ve entered a new level of hippie, I think.
Anyways, let’s just jump to recipe now.
One way I get my kids to eat healthier is by having meals with a lot of components — like salad nights. That way they can put their bowls together exactly how they want. With only a little vegetable-prodding from mom if they end up with a bowl full of bacon.
Taco salad nights are definitely the most popular. But when I’ve got a lot of extra tidbits in the fridge that need to be used up, I pull everything out and declare “salad bar night” with bits of leftovers, a large bowl of greens and some yummy dressing. (It helps to throw some dried cranberries on the table, too.)
Did I ever tell you one of my kids is obsessed with balsamic vinegar? She doesn’t like salad that much, but will pretty much eat any salad if it is covered in balsamic vinaigrette. And if I don’t have any vinaigrette on hand she literally gets the balsamic vinegar out of the cabinet and drizzle it on her salad. Not joking.
About the salad…
You could also switch out the mixed greens here and make a more exciting version of that strawberry spinach salad that ends up at ALL of the potlucks. (Everyone has a spinach strawberry salad recipe, right?) For good reason, though. It’s super good! And it makes a great summer salad because it doesn’t have a mayo-based dressing. Some have a poppy seed dressing and others might have a honey balsamic vinegar based one.
I feel like I made this one extra special by marrying it to a cobb salad. So you get the creamy hard-boiled eggs and bacon, too. This one is also a naturally gluten-free side dish that will make your gluten-intolerant friends happy. (Probably all of your friends, if we’re being honest here.) The candied nuts are optional, though, but I love the extra crunch and texture the add. Sunflower seeds would be a good option, too, if you’re avoiding nuts.
I have a couple more strawberry salad recipes on my site, too! Along with a bunch of healthy recipes that use strawberries (*cough* desserts. Like 5-Minute Paleo Strawberry Ice Cream, Strawberry Pudding Souffles, and Strawberry Nut Butter Truffles.)
More Strawberry Salad Recipes
Spring Greens & Strawberry Salad with Maple Vinaigrette — This salad is SO GOOD. The addition of goat cheese is such a perfect touch.
Toasted Brussels Sprout Salad with Strawberry-Basil Vinaigrette — This is one I wrote for Pioneer Woman’s site. It’s a copycat version of a salad I ate a BJ’s Restaurant. Filled with lots of texture and sweet blueberries, grapes, and candied nuts. (Strawberries would be great in this, too!)
For the salad:
- 10-12 ounce package of uncooked bacon (nitrate/nitrite free and pastured, if possible)
- 2-3 heads of Romaine hearts or other salad greens to feed 6 people, trimmed and chopped
- 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
- 1 English cucumber, sliced thinly
- 1 1/2 pounds of ripe strawberries, trimmed and sliced or quartered, divided
- 2 cups of whole, raw walnuts or pecans
- 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
- Pinch of sea salt
For the dressing: (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup avocado oil or light olive oil
- Slice the bacon into 1-inch pieces and cook them in a large skillet over medium heat, about 20 minutes, until they reach the desired crispness.
- Meanwhile, prep the lettuce, eggs, cucumbers. Reserve 4 large strawberries (about 5 ounces) and set aside for the dressing.
- In another, smaller skillet add the nuts and maple syrup and cook them over medium-low heat until most of the maple has cooked off and the nuts are sticky and fragrant. Transfer them to a bowl or plate to cool and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
- When the bacon is finished, transfer the bits to a paper towel to soak up any excess grease.
- Make the dressing by blending the reserved strawberries, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and sea salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Drizzle in the oil while the machine is running. Taste, and add a little extra salt or maybe a 1/2 teaspoon of honey if your strawberries weren't particularly sweet.
- Assemble the salads by putting a bed of lettuce in each bowl. Top with sliced cucumbers, eggs, candied nuts, bacon pieces, and sliced strawberries. Drizzle with dressing.
1. To make this Whole30 friendly, don't use maple syrup in the nuts. Just toast them in a dry pan until they're fragrant (be careful, though, because they burn quickly). If you need to sweeten the dressing, use a little Date Paste or an extra strawberry. Also, be sure that your bacon is compliant.