Spinach Salad with Strawberry Champagne Vinaigrette

In just over a week we’re jumping on a plane and heading to Disney – yay!! And yes, we were just there in December, but this time we’re going down not only to enjoy the parks, but also to attend a food blogging conference. It’ll be my first one ever, and I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t wait to finally meet so many of my blogging friends!

If our trip to Disney in December was any indication, there will be a whole lot of delicious food consumed while we’re there next week. We had a few of our favorite meals ever on our last trip, we’re still talking about them 5 months later. Silly me, I thought the miles and miles we walked around the parks would counterbalance all the food we ate but, yeah, not so much… Yoga pants were my friend for the plane ride home :)

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Champagne Vinaigrette

So part of me feels like I should be eating salads morning, noon and night this week in preparation for the decadence that I know is coming. I haven’t been though because, as I’ve mentioned, I don’t like making salads at home. In fact, one of the only times I do actually put in the effort to make them is when we have company over. I served this spinach salad with strawberry champagne vinaigrette for our early Mother’s Day celebration this past weekend. It’s fresh, colorful and just perfect for spring! I’ve never made a dressing like this vinaigrette but I just loved it. Sweet from the berries, tangy from the vinegar and with just a little effervescence from the bubbly champagne. The original recipe included goat cheese on the salads as well, and if you’re a fan, I think that would be nice here too.

This salad would be a great addition to any Mother’s Day brunch! And just think, after you make the vinaigrette, you can use the leftover champagne to make mimosas :)

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Champagne Vinaigrette
barely adapted from Annie’s Eats (originally adapted from Epicurious)

{Note: I haven’t tried it, but Annie mentioned white wine works well as a substitute for the champagne.}

Dressing
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons champagne
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt

Salad
Baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
Toasted and sliced almonds
Sliced fresh strawberries

Add the strawberries, cider vinegar, champagne, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a mini food processor (or your blender). Puree until the ingredients are well combined and smooth. In a blender or food processor, combine the strawberries, vinegar, champagne, sugar and salt. Process until the mixture is well combined and completely smooth. Transfer to an airtight bottle or container and refrigerate until ready to use.

To prepare the salads: Divide the baby spinach leaves among the serving bowls, then top with the almonds and strawberries. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salads.