Perhaps it is not very good idea to begin your breakfast from the onions. But still when I am not planning to meet someone or to carry on the negotiations in an hour or so after meal, I prepare this salad. If I am in mood and have spare time, I follow the recipe strictly and enjoy it with all the details like caramelized pecans. But when the time is up, I assemble everything quickly refusing the complicate operations and get the full package of vitamins and microelements including calcium for my strong teeth and bones.
I found out about this combination of rather different products several months ago from my aunt (she is fond of culinary and often offers something amazing) and was surprised I should confess. You be the judge! The dish consists of red onions, strawberries, spinach and Feta cheese. The spicy food is mixed with sweet fruits and dairy in addition – it sounds strange doesn’t it? But when you try this salad just in this composition, you will understand my exaltation. Now I include it in my party menu intended for a crowd just because it is very easy and at the same time it is able to take the breath away. It is good with poultry and fish as entremets but rather often I eat it as independent dish. Some of my friends come to see me just because of this specialty.
Perhaps such popularity can be explained by fresh strawberries, which are not usually met in the salads of this kind. In general, I adore strawberries – this particular flavor that cannot be compared to anything else. I consume this juicy red berry as long as the season lasts. Of course, it is available during the whole year but the taste is not so perfect, you know.
It has plenty of health benefits. Its regular consumption provides my organism with anthocyanins – these are flavonoids reducing the risk of a heart attack. There is also flavonoid quercetin which reduces the risk of atherosclerosis due to the anti-inflammatory properties. The strawberries contain the powerful antioxidants working against free radicals and being able to inhibit tumor growth. This berry contains a lot of potassium being able to reduce the blood pressure. It keeps the body hydrated and is good for pregnant women being a great source of folic acid. And of course you will get plenty of vitamin C. You can consume it fresh or frozen. It is tasty when baked in pies and blended in smoothies. Though, please, be sure that you have no allergic reactions. And one moment is important also – the place where you buy this berry. Prove it to be of high quality.
As far as I remember the first time I prepared this salad, it required some efforts. First, you should prepare all the ingredients. There will be three parts of this dish. The sauce will contain balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and honey. I always have these products at home. But pecans are not the usual foods for me, so I have to buy them beforehand as well as the main components.
So, I take a small pan, pour vinegar into it and place over the heat allowing it to boil during a minute. Then pour it into a vessel, add olive oil, Dijon mustard, and honey, whisk vigorously, seasoning with salt and pepper. The dressing is ready. It should not be too thick. To avoid it, you can add some drops of water or lemon juice.
Now the time for pecans comes. I use a small skillet with low sides and mix nuts, brown sugar and butter in it. Then I put it over the medium heat and cook until the nuts get caramelized, stirring them. It is important to keep this process under control, so I do not recommend to leave the nuts alone. When they are ready, I replace them on a flat plate to get cool.
Meanwhile I slice red onion, crumble feta cheese, cut the large strawberries, spinach and toss the ingredients drizzling them with sauce. You can add feta before tossing or put the pieces on the top when everything is mixed and dressed.
Quick and easy breakfast skillet recipe
Fresh berries are often served for breakfasts or used in desserts, but in this recipe they become an interesting addition to savory cheese and fresh veggies. Fruity, colorful and sweet raspberries mix makes the flavor better and brings everything together.
For the vinaigrette:
- 125 ml balsamic vinegar
- 60 ml olive oil
- 15 ml honey
- 15 ml Dijon mustard
- 4 tsp salt
- 4 tsp black pepper
For the pecans:
- 20 ml brown sugar
- 200 ml chopped pecans
- 8 ml butter
For the salad:
- 5 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 1 lb fresh strawberries
- 10 oz baby spinach
- 1/3 sliced red onion
Start with strawberry vinaigrette. Take a small saucepan, add vinegar, and let it boil for 60 seconds. Pour the colorful mix into a jar, add Dijon mustard, olive oil, and honey and whisk while adding salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, thin with a liquid.
Prepare the pecans. Add brown sugar, butter, and pecans to a small skillet and cook over the medium heat. The sugar should caramelize, don't skip the right moment. Transfer to a plate and let it cool.
Take a salad bowl and toss together strawberries, spinach, feta, pecans and red onions. Drizzle half of the dressing over the salad and drizzle the other half of the dressing over individual portions. Top with feta and enjoy the meal.
As I have said, you can simplify the recipe refusing the peanuts for example or adding them without caramelizing but the origin is very good, really.