Strawberry Arugula Salad with Lemon Poppy seed Dressing

August 19, 2020

“The perfect summer salad doesn’t exist,” that is… until now. Meet my Strawberry Arugula Salad with lemon Poppyseed Dressing, aka the perfect salad for your late summer days. Peppery arugula blends beautifully with the sweet strawberries and the tangy lemon poppy seed dressing. It’s light, refreshing, and bursting with flavor. Plus, it’s gluten-free, with the option to make it dairy-free and vegan-friendly, so it’s perfect for parties or social gatherings!

I’ll admit: for the longest time, I was never one to like fruits in my salad. I was strictly on the “savory salads only” belief, and liked my fruits to be kept to my desserts. But let me tell you, that has all changed. I have now fallen in-love with fruit in my salads, and that is because of this strawberry arugula salad with lemon poppy seed dressing!

There’s something so perfect about salads in the summertime, and the same goes for strawberries. Both are crips, refreshing, and hold such a quintessential, nostalgic, summertime flavor. I knew that I had to find the perfect way to combine both of them, and lo and behold, this salad was born! 

What Makes Up the Perfect Salad?

In my opinion, the “perfect” salad comes down to one key thing: LOTS of fun toppings! Nobody wants to eat plain lettuce with dressing. The most fun part of making (and eating) a salad comes down to loading it up with all of the fixings and making each and every bite exciting.

In this salad, we’re keeping it fun with avocado, red onion, slivered almonds, a little feta cheese (optional – remove to make dairy free / vegan-friendly), and of course, strawberries. All of these different ingredients provide a nice mix of flavors and textures that really help to make this salad fun.

If you want to get creative, you can try adding in additional berries (blueberries, for example), or add in some protein. Eggs, grilled chicken, or even some salmon could be a wonderful addition to this salad, and help make it a little more filling.

Let’s Talk Dressing

But, of course, while the toppings are a key part of crafting the “perfect” salad, another aspect that plays an important role is the dressing! Dressings really help to tie a salad together, and this lemon poppyseed dressing is no joke. It’s sweetened with a little honey, tangy thanks to the lemon, and has nice texture thanks to the help of the olive oil and poppy seeds. If you’ve been looking for a great, dairy-free dressing to add to your rotation, look no further, because this one is epic, if I do say so myself.

The best part about this dressing too, is that it all comes together so easily. Simply whisk all of your ingredients together in a bowl until well-combined, and you’ve got the dressing of your dreams ready to go.

What you Need to Make This Strawberry Arugula Salad

For the Dressing:

  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is my favorite oil to use in salad dressings because it tastes amazing and it’s such a great heart-healthy oil.
  • Lemon: The lemon gives the dressing a tangy flavor – yee haw!
  • Poppy Seeds: After all, what would a lemon poppy seed dressing be without poppy seeds?
  • Honey: Honey adds the perfect balance of sweetness to this dressing! You can also use maple syrup if you prefer.
  • Salt and Pepper: Of course, salt and pepper are crucial in every good dressing.

For the Salad:

  • Arugula: Arugula is one of my favorite salad greens. It’s light, peppery, and delicious!
  • Strawberries: Strawberries really add a burst of flavor to this salad. Don’t skip these!
  • Avocado: I love avocado in my salads, and if you do, add it. If not, you can just leave it out.
  • Red Onion: Diced red onions really add a nice balance of bite and acidity to this salad.
  • Almonds: Instead of croutons, we’re using slivered almonds to help give this salad some crunch and texture.
  • Feta Cheese (Optional): Feta cheese is a delicious finishing touch to this salad, but you can skip it to make it dairy-free.

Four Steps to Making This Strawberry Arugula Salad

In four simple steps, this salad can be yours! Does it get any easier than that?

  1. Make the dressing by combining all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisking until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Cut the strawberries, avocado, and onion, and put it in a large bowl alongside the arugula and the almonds.
  3. Pour the dressing on top and toss the salad with your hands, so that all of the arugula is evenly-coated with the dressing.
  4. Sprinkle feta cheese on top, if desired, and enjoy!

How to Store Your Salad

If you want to make this salad ahead of time, I recommend storing it undressed, in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to one week. You can also store the dressing in the fridge in a separate mason jar or airtight container. Storing them together will make the salad soggy, so it’s best to keep them separate.

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a rating and a comment below – this really helps others decide whether to make this recipe as well. And since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so I can see them and repost! Enjoy! xx

gluten-free

ARUGULA SALAD WITH LEMON POPPY SEED DRESSING

Author: Nicole Modic of @KALEJUNKIE

SERVES 4
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"The perfect summer salad doesn't exist," that is... until now. Meet my Strawberry Arugula Salad with lemon Poppyseed Dressing, aka the perfect salad for your late summer days. Peppery arugula blends beautifully with the sweet strawberries and the tangy lemon dressing. It's light, refreshing, and bursting with flavor. Plus, it's gluten-free, with the option to make it dairy-free and vegan-friendly, so it's perfect for parties or social gatherings!

Ingredients

FOR THE LEMONPOPPYSEED DRESSING:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tb poppyseeds
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 5-6 cups arugula
  • 1 cup organic strawberries halved
  • 1 large avocado diced
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup slivered raw almonds
  • feta cheese to sprinkle on top optional

Instructions

  • Make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and whisking until smooth. Set aside.
  • Cut strawberries, avocado, and onion and put it in a large bowl along with the arugula and almonds.
  • Pour dressing on top and toss salad with your hands (so all the arugula is coated with dressing).
  • Sprinkle cheese on top, if using!
  • ENJOY!

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