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A Dinner Party Filled With Straw Hats and Strawberries

May 23, 2011

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The idea was simple: Bring friends and family together and eat delicious food. But picking what to make for the Garden-Fresh three-course meal? That was the hard part!

I wanted to start with a salad, and when I saw the Strawberry Spinach Salad recipe, I knew I couldn’t resist. Be sure to adjust the portions of each ingredient if you aren’t making this salad for a large party: The recipe makes 24 servings! For my dinner party for seven, I used about a pound of spinach, 5 cups of strawberries and two cucumbers, and added a creamy goat cheese. For personal taste, I made a homemade dressing of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.

The colors and taste both won applause at the dinner table, and there was enough left over for a light lunch the following day! I prepped all the ingredients required, and to save the strawberries and spinach from wilting, I dressed the salad right before we sat down for dinner. Pick your favorite cheese, or add vegetables from your garden to add a personal touch to this already dinner party–approved salad!


Strawberry Spinach Salad

Take this along to potluck suppers. Make it in smaller batches for a family dinner.

2-1/2 pounds spinach, trimmed
8 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups scallions, sliced
1/2 cup snipped fresh mint (optional)
1 bottle (16 ounces) ranch style salad dressing

Tear the spinach into bite-size pieces. Put the spinach, strawberries, cucumbers, scallions, and mint into a large bowl and toss. Just before serving, drizzle the dressing over the spinach salad and toss to coat. Makes 24 servings.
 

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Jane received her Bachelor's in Fine Arts at Western Washington University where she studied Creative Writing. She now lives in the greater Seattle area, where she writes and drinks copious amounts of coffee. When she isn't writing, cooking, gardening, or taking photos, you can find her at local shows and concerts, or running to prepare for yet another half marathon.

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