Spinach-Strawberry Salad with Candied Pecans

Will this winter ever end?  Seriously.

A blizzard just ripped through here again this week, dumping so much snow on us that we had a snow day (due to the blizzard) plus, they had to cancel school the next day, because the city couldn’t plow the streets fast enough.  That blizzard was not messing around.

The worst part was, the original winter snow was just beginning to melt!  There was lots of grass visible in the backyard.  The deck was almost clear!  Dude went on a bike ride and I jogged behind him…it was a 5k.

But noooooo.  Now we’re all full of snow again.  It’s like that lovely melt never even happened!

So to bring back lovely spring-like thoughts, I recreated a salad I enjoyed on my recent trip to Florida {Dear Florida, I love you, why couldn’t I stay forever?}

It’s a delicious spinach salad, topped off with luscious strawberries and candied pecans for sweetness, balanced by salty feta, and a few green onions.  In a word…delicious.  And warm and sunny and spring-like.

Can it be summer now?

Recipe Notes:
*I find the salad to be flavorful enough, but if you’re more of the dressing persuasion, top this off with a nice balsamic vinaigrette.

Spinach-Strawberry Salad with Candied Pecans

2 cups fresh spinach
3 large strawberries, sliced
2 tbsp candied pecans (recipe follows)
1 tbsp crumbled feta
1/3 avocado, diced
1 green onion, sliced

Fill a bowl with spinach.  Top with the remaining ingredients and enjoy.

Candied Pecans
Adapted from Family Savvy

1 ½ tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
½ cup pecan halves
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add the sugar and pecans and cook, stirring constantly until the sugar melts, about 5 minutes.  Cook for another minute or so or until the sugar is caramelized.  Then, remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon and vanilla.

Pour the nuts onto the prepared baking sheet and spread apart to harden.