Strawberry Crunch Salad

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The Strawberry Crunch Salad combines the sweet juiciness of ripe strawberries with a variety of nuts and cheese, creating a refreshing and texturally satisfying dish. Tossed with a light, tangy champagne vinaigrette dressing, it’s a perfect blend of flavors that makes for a delightful appetizer or a wholesome meal on a warm day.

Two bowls of salad with strawberries and nuts.
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Two wooden bowls with strawberries, kale and avocado create a delicious salad.

Crunchy Strawberry Nut Salad

This salad is my sister’s absolute favorite. I never would have thought to add strawberries to a savory salad until she asked me to recreate this one our grandmother use to make. It is a great salad for meal prep and can be made a meal by adding any cooked protein of choice, enjoy!

When crafting a salad with arugula, avocado, strawberries, almonds, feta cheese, pistachios, and champagne vinaigrette, consider these tips for an exquisite dish: Firstly, wash and thoroughly dry the arugula to ensure it’s crisp and free of any excess moisture, which could dilute the dressing. Slice the strawberries and avocado just before serving to maintain their freshness and vibrant colors, preventing the avocado from browning. Toasting the almonds and pistachios lightly in a dry skillet will release their oils and deepen their flavors, adding a toasty crunch to the salad. Crumble the feta cheese by hand for a rustic texture, allowing its briny tang to meld seamlessly with the sweet and creamy components. When applying the champagne vinaigrette, drizzle it lightly and evenly to coat the ingredients without overpowering them, allowing the salad’s diverse flavors to shine. Finally, gently toss the salad to mix the ingredients, ensuring each serving is beautifully balanced with a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

A salad with strawberries in a bowl.

How to Make Strawberry Crunch Salad

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Almonds (2/3 cup) – Toasted almonds add a nutty crunch, enhancing the texture contrast in the Strawberry Crunch Salad.
  • Arugula greens (10 oz) – Peppery arugula greens provide a bold, flavorful base that complements the sweetness of the strawberries.
  • Strawberries (8 oz) – Fresh strawberries bring a burst of sweetness and a pop of color, making them a star ingredient in the salad.
  • Avocado (1) – Creamy avocado adds a rich, smooth texture that contrasts beautifully with the crunchy elements.
  • Feta cheese (2 oz) – Crumbled feta cheese contributes a tangy, salty dimension that balances the salad’s sweet and savory flavors.
  • Roasted salted pistachios (1/3 cup) – These nuts offer a salty crunch and a hint of roasted flavor, adding depth to the salad.
  • Garlic (1) – A touch of minced garlic in the dressing infuses the salad with a subtle, aromatic warmth.
  • Champagne vinegar (1/4 cup) – Champagne vinegar lends a mild, elegant acidity to the dressing, elevating the overall freshness of the dish.
  • Dijon mustard (1 tbsp) – Dijon mustard adds a tangy kick to the dressing, enhancing its complexity and binding the flavors together.
  • Honey (1 tbsp) – A drizzle of honey in the dressing provides a natural sweetness that complements the tangy and savory components.
  • Lemon juice (1 tsp) – Fresh lemon juice adds a bright, citrusy note to the dressing, accentuating the salad’s vibrant flavors.
  • Sea salt (1/2 tsp) – A pinch of sea salt in the dressing highlights the natural flavors of the salad’s fresh ingredients.
  • Black pepper (1/8 tsp) – Freshly ground black pepper adds a slight heat and aromatic quality, rounding out the dressing’s flavor profile.
  • Extra virgin olive oil (1/2 cup) – Extra virgin olive oil serves as the smooth, rich base of the dressing, bringing all the ingredients together harmoniously.

Use this Method

Make Dressing. Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a jar, stir or shake to combine.

Assemble. Add all the salad ingredients and drizzle with the dressing.

Two bowls of salad with avocado, strawberries and pistachios.

Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Strawberry Nut Salad

Use Fresh Ingredients: Ensure your arugula is crisp, strawberries are ripe but firm, and avocado is just the right level of ripeness for a creamy texture without being mushy.

Toast the Nuts: Lightly toast the almonds and pistachios in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes. This enhances their flavor and adds a delightful crunch.

Balance the Feta: Crumble the feta cheese gently; its saltiness should complement the sweet strawberries and creamy avocado without overwhelming them.

Dress Wisely: Drizzle the champagne vinaigrette sparingly at first. You can always add more, but you don’t want to drown the delicate flavors of your salad.

Season Just Right: A light sprinkle of sea salt and cracked black pepper can elevate the natural flavors of the ingredients, especially the avocado and tomatoes.

Chill the Plates: Serving the salad on chilled plates can keep the greens crisp and fresh, especially in warmer weather.

Layer for Presentation: Arrange the salad in layers or sections to showcase each ingredient, making the salad visually appealing and ensuring a good mix of flavors in every bite.

Mix Gently: When combining the ingredients, do so gently with your hands or salad tongs to avoid bruising the arugula or crushing the avocado and strawberries.

Serve Immediately: Assemble the salad right before serving to maintain the freshness and crispness of the arugula and to prevent the avocado from browning.

Experiment with Textures: The contrast between the creamy avocado, juicy strawberries, crunchy nuts, and crumbly feta adds a delightful variety of textures. Ensure each element is represented in every bite for the best experience.

FAQs

How do I keep the avocado from browning in the salad?

To prevent the avocado from browning, slice it just before serving and consider tossing it in a little lemon or lime juice, which adds flavor and slows down the oxidation process.

Can I prepare this salad ahead of time?

You can prepare most components ahead of time, but it’s best to assemble the salad just before serving. You can wash and dry the arugula, toast the nuts, and prepare the vinaigrette in advance. Store each component separately in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.

What’s the best way to toast the almonds and pistachios?

Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until they’re golden and fragrant. Alternatively, you can spread them on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 8-10 minutes.

Is there a substitute for champagne vinegar in the vinaigrette?

If you don’t have champagne vinegar, you can use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar as a substitute. These options will slightly alter the flavor but still produce a delicious vinaigrette.

How should I serve the salad to ensure the best presentation and flavor?

Layer the ingredients thoughtfully, starting with a bed of arugula, followed by evenly distributed slices of avocado and strawberries, crumbled feta, and toasted nuts. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top just before serving and gently toss to combine, ensuring each serving gets a good mix of all components.

A delicious salad with strawberries and nuts.

What to Serve With Strawberry Crunch Salad

Grilled Chicken Breast: Adds a lean, protein-rich component that complements the lightness of the salad.

Quiche or Frittata: Offers a savory, egg-based dish that pairs well with the fresh, fruity flavors of the salad.

Sparkling Water or White Wine: Enhances the meal with a refreshing beverage that doesn’t overpower the salad’s flavors.

Fresh Baguette: Provides a crusty, chewy texture that contrasts nicely with the crunchiness of the salad.

Goat Cheese Crostini: Adds a creamy, tangy element that pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the strawberries.

Lemon Sorbet: Serves as a light, refreshing dessert that complements the salad’s bright flavors.

Spinach and Strawberry Smoothie: For a healthful drink option that echoes the salad’s key ingredients.

Seafood Pasta: A light pasta dish with seafood can complement the salad’s freshness, making for a balanced meal.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta: Offers a smooth, sweet dessert that contrasts nicely with the salad’s texture and tanginess.

Citrus Fruit Salad: Provides a sweet, tangy side that harmonizes with the strawberry theme, enhancing the fruitiness of the meal.

Try these other favorites:

Two bowls of salad with avocado, strawberries and pistachios.

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Two wooden bowls with a strawberry crunch salad.
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Strawberry Crunch Salad

This delicious crunchy salad is packed with nuts, fruit, and a tangy vinaigrette!
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Keyword champagne dressing, nut and fruit salad, refreshing salad, salad, summer salt
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 608kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • cup almonds chopped
  • 10 oz arugula greens
  • 8 oz strawberries sliced
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • 2 oz feta cheese
  • cup roasted salted pistachios chopped

Champagne Vinaigrette

  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Combine all the champagne vinaigrette ingredients in a jar or bowl, combine well.
  • Combine all the salad ingredients and drizzle with champagne vinaigrette.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 608kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 43g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 697mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 11g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    Love the strawberries

  2. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    Yummy