Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is classic strawberry fields salad tossed with homemade croutons and a tangy sweet strawberry balsamic vinaigrette!

Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is classic strawberry fields salad tossed with crunchy homemade croutons!

Several years back my husband saw a simple dessert on a cooking show with vanilla ice cream, fresh mixed berries, and balsamic vinegar poured over the top.

He proceeded to replicate that dessert soon thereafter, and when he it to me I looked at him like he was crazy. I didn’t want anything to do with it balsamic vinegar in my dessert, but one mouthful was all it took for me to fall head over heels.

It’s now one of my favorite desserts, and I will live through the I-told-you-so’s for the rest of time.  It’s a small price to pay really. 🙂

Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is classic strawberry fields salad tossed with crunchy homemade croutons!

Thanks to my husband, I have a serious thing for berries with balsamic.  My thing is so serious that this salad was created entirely around the idea for the strawberry balsamic vinaigrette.

I couldn’t help but think that the combination of juicy, sweet strawberries and tangy balsamic vinegar would make a truly amazing dressing.

It definitely does, and it’s kind of pretty too isn’t it? 🙂

strawberry balsamic vinaigrette

Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

I realize that the name of this salad is pretty long, but I just couldn’t leave anything out.  The salad is a classic strawberry fields salad, which is typically mixed field greens combined with strawberries, salty feta cheese and toasted pecans.

I went a few steps further by adding some red onion to add a bit more savory flavor, along with some chunks of refreshing cucumber.

I thought it would be fun to make this salad a panzanella, or bread salad.  Normally a panzanella doesn’t include lettuce, so you could say that this is simply a strawberry fields salad with croutons.  I can live with that, but it really depends on how many croutons you use in your salad.

For a true panzanella, the more the better!

You can also check out my Greek Panzanella recipe for more inspiration.

homemade-croutons

There’s nothing like golden brown, crunchy homemade croutons in this salad, and when it comes to a panzanella, those croutons have to be homemade.

Honestly, homemade croutons don’t take long to make at all, and you can even make them a day in advance.  Just do your best to stay out of them or there may not be any left for your salad.

I speak from experience. 🙂

Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is classic strawberry fields salad tossed with crunchy homemade croutons!

This Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is a great way to utilize that summer produce!  There’s plenty of greens, strawberries, cucumber, and red onion.

Toss it all in that luscious sweet-tangy strawberry balsamic vinaigrette and it’s just irresistible.  Serve it as a main dish with grilled chicken, salmon or as-is for a delicious lunch.

EAT SEASONAL

july seasonal

I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined Becky from the blog Vintage Mixer and a group of fabulous bloggers to share seasonal recipes each month, and this month we’re utilizing the abundance of summer produce for July.

You may also want to check out Becky’s Seasonal Food Guide for July for even more inspiration. You can share your own seasonal recipes as well using the hashtag #eatseasonal.

July-Seasonal-Recipes

Quick Pickled Strawberries with Black Pepper and Tarragon by Simple Bites

Pea and Arugula Pesto by Floating Kitchen

Creamy Grilled Corn Pasta by Completely Delicious

Chocolate Strawberry Protein Smoothie by The Lemon Bowl

Crispy Chicken & Cucumber Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette by Climbing Grier Mountain

Healthy Zucchini Muffins by Gimme Some Oven

Fresh Corn Salad by Bless this Mess

Apricot Glazed Chicken by Vintage Mixer

Spinach Pesto by Mountain Mama Cooks

Papaya Seed Vinaigrette Dressing by Kitchen Confidante

Baked Zucchini Fries with Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce by Cookin’ Canuck

Peach Salad with Grilled Chicken and Raspberries by Well Plated

Poached Beets with Star Anise and Cinnamon by Project Domestication

How to Make Arugula Pesto by FoodieCrush

Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is classic strawberry fields salad tossed with crunchy homemade croutons!

Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is classic strawberry fields salad tossed with homemade croutons and a tangy sweet vinaigrette!

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled, and halved or quartered
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the croutons:

  • 1 1/2 cup cubed focaccia bread (1″ cubes)*
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt

For the salad:

  • 3 cups spring greens
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted*

Directions:

Prepare the dressing:

  1. Place the strawberries, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper, to taste in a blender or food processor and process until fairly smooth.
  2. With the machine running, add the olive oil through the feed tube and process until the dressing reaches the desired consistency. Taste and add the desired amount of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Prepare the croutons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the bread cubes with the olive oil and pinch of salt on a large rimmed baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Bake 10-15 minutes, turning half way through the cooking time, until golden brown and crispy.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Prepare the salad:

  1. Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl with the desired amount of croutons. Toss with enough dressing to coat, serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

  • The dressing may be made ahead and stored in airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Croutons may be made up to one day ahead and stored in an air tight container at room temperature.
  • For toasted pecans, place the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant. For a time saver, I like to use pre-toasted pecan pieces at Trader Joe’s.

Recipe source:  Flavor the Moments

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