Strawberry Salad with Candied Almond Brittle

Are you ready for a fresh, healthy, and slightly tangy/sweet summer salad?  Here it is, my friends.

I’ve been meaning to put more greens on the blog.  More salads.  More light and colorful posts that are easy to prepare and don’t leave you feeling like you are in sugar shock afterwards.  Everything in moderation, right?  After all, bathing suit season is upon us, and I have some summer sundresses that need to fit.  The simple truth is: I really do feel better when I eat healthier.  I sleep better, my work-outs are more intense, and I have more energy throughout the day.  Granted, I am a total sucker for sweets (particularly chocolate), but when I eat better, I find that I don’t crave the sweets (and carbonated drinks!) as much.  Is that true for anyone else out there?

I am also a sucker for fruits on salads…in particular spinach salads.  My mother thought I was an oddity as a child because of my love for spinach.  I requested it at age 5.  I like it fresh, steamed, lightly sautéed-you name it, I will probably like it.  So I try to use spinach as a base green for most of my salads due to the increased nutrient factor.  I’m looking for some other salad green leafy add-in alternatives…what’s your favorite?

So, let me tell you about this salad.  The strawberries add sweetness, the goat cheese adds a savory tanginess, the pomegranate vinaigrette adds a little kick, and the candied almond brittle is just about the most tasty thing I have ever put into a salad.  True, the candied almond brittle preparation takes a little more time than simply prepping the other salad ingredients and throwing them together, but it’s definitely worth the extra effort.  And the nice thing is that you will most likely have a lot of leftover almond brittle (that is, unless you start munching on it nonstop during the salad preparation and realize you have almost eaten the entirety of it before you even take a bite of your salad, like me), so you can have it at your fingertips for leftovers.  This has to be one of my favorite salads in a long time.

Strawberry Salad with Candied Almond Brittle

Servings: approximately 4 starter salads or 2 large salads

Ingredients

For the salad:

4 cups fresh spinach, washed

1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced (about 4-5 large strawberries)

2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

For the candied almond brittle:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

1 and 1/2 cups sliced almonds, lightly toasted

For the pomegranate vinaigrette:***This yields about 3/4 cup of dressing.

1/2 cup pomegranate vinegar (feel free to substitute another flavor)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pinch granulated sugar

Pinch sea salt

Instructions

1. For the candied almond brittle: In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar and water and continuously stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. ***Using a silicone or wet pastry brush, brush the sides of the saucepan to dissolve any sugar that adheres to the sides of the pan.

2. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, continuing to brush down the sides of the saucepan as needed.

3.  Continue to boil the mixture, swirling the saucepan occasionally, until the mixture is amber (a golden brown color), about 8-9 minutes. In the meantime, lay a large sheet of aluminum foil onto a flat counter top or surface.

4.  Turn off the heat and quickly add the sliced almonds, stirring to thoroughly coat.

5.  Pour the mixture onto the foil, breaking up the almond pieces gently with a fork.  Let cool completely.

6. For the pomegranate vinaigrette: Combine the vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl and whisk to emulsify.

7. Add the sugar and salt, to taste.

8. Once the candied almond brittle has hardened and cooled completely, distribute the spinach evenly in the serving bowls and assemble with the strawberries, goat cheese, candied almond brittle, and vinaigrette (to your liking!)

Source:  Candied Almond Brittle from Bon Appétit via Epicurious. Remaining salad a Curvy Carrot original.

 

June 4, 2011 - 7:10 am

Lauren at Keep It Sweet - I love tat almond brittle, looks like a great topping for any salad!

June 4, 2011 - 8:40 am

rita in mi - I like using spinach for salads, too, instead of lettuce. I’ve also started using arugula alot too. It has a bit more flavor than spinach, but is still very healthful.

And, I’m thinking that almond brittle would be awesome for just munching on. Yum!

June 4, 2011 - 9:48 am

Jacqueline - I’m so glad you posted this today! I’m in the middle of studying for my (1st) boards, and it’s just been a constant sugar overload around here – and then I wash it down with some soda (I’m surprised my teeth are rotten). I think I’ll have to make this tonight for dinner to get back on healthy tract.

June 4, 2011 - 10:59 am

srlacy - Good luck with studying! You can do it! :)

June 4, 2011 - 10:45 pm

Karla - Looks great! I posted a similar salad a few weeks ago–with candied walnuts instead of almonds. It is always one of my favorites!
http://fortycakes.com/2011/03/spinach-strawberry-salad-with-candied-walnuts/

June 5, 2011 - 10:49 am

Claire - Yay for strawberry season! I love the candied almond brittle touch! Vegetables, fruit, and protein in one…can’t go wrong there. :)

June 5, 2011 - 11:40 pm

Ellen - Red leaf lettuce is a nutrient rich alternative. I tend to look up food on Self’s nutritional database, so when I looked up varying types of greens, I discovered that red leaf is very nutritional. I like the website because its a good way to really see how nutritious foods are in a variety of different ways, and they make great use of visuals. Plus the sheer amount of information about a given food is astounding.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/7361/2

June 6, 2011 - 1:46 pm

Sonia - Absolutely gorgeous! That salad is pure eye candy. I love the idea of mixing almonds with spinach, strawberries and goat cheese. What a beautiful combination. I will be making that soon for sure, with plain toasted almonds however. Or maybe with a little bit of honey?

Thanks for the inspiration!

June 6, 2011 - 2:00 pm

sensiblecooking - That really is a great way to eat your greens and include more of it in your diet. Love those greens with bright red strawberry.

June 6, 2011 - 6:28 pm

Adele Forbes - love it can’t wait to try it!

June 7, 2011 - 11:00 pm

Josie - I love strawberry and goat cheese salad, but this almond brittle and pomegranate vinegar put it over the edge for me – can’t wait to try it!

April 1, 2013 - 1:55 pm

Christine - Made this for Easter dinner yesterday. It was a wonderful spring salad! The brittle was so easy to make. I was worried about not spraying the foil first, but it was unnecessary. The brittle came off the foil very easy and what a tasty topping! I thought I purchased the pommegranite vinegar but when I went to use if, found I got fig instead! Guess what? Delicious! I wonder now how the pom vinegar tastes in comparison! Definitely a keeper salad!! Thanks!

May 10, 2013 - 9:37 am

Strawberry Salad with Candied Almond Brittle - [...] source:  thecurvycarrot.com [...]

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