Cook the Book: Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Nectarines

Cook the Book: Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Nectarines

Photograph from J. McPherson on Flickr

I go out to eat a lot and one of my favorite things to do in a fancy restaurant is to order the mixed greens salad. It might sound boring but I think how a kitchen chooses to make a simple salad is the best judge of the restaurant as a whole. This past week I passed up a torchon of foie gras for a green salad and I didn't regret it for a second. My field greens were dressed with a gooseberry vinaigrette, interspersed with heirloom squash, peas, favas, and wax beans.

A good salad is a force to be reckoned with, and this recipe for Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Nectarines from Carol Gelles' 100 Best Vegetarian Recipes is a perfect example. While this salad is entirely meat-free it doesn't scream vegetarian recipe. It's an incidentally vegetarian, more of a summer or salad recipe than an exclusively meat-free dish.

This is a salad that you should make now or at least in the next few weeks. Strawberries and nectarines aren't going to taste any better than they do in late summer.

Win '100 Best Vegetarian Recipes'

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of 100 Best Vegetarian Recipes to give away this week.

  • Yield:4 to 6


  • 6 cups lightly packed, bite-size pieces fresh spinach
  • 1 cup pitted and sliced nectarines
  • 1 cup hulled and sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds (optional)


  1. 1.

    In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, nectarines, and strawberries.

  2. 2.

    In a small bowl, stir together the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, and dry mustard. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and serve.

  3. 3.

    Variation: Substitute peaches for the nectarines and raspberries for the strawberries.