Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

strawberry fields salad with poppy seed dressing and candied pecans

★★★★★ 2
a recipe by
Melissa K Hand
Spring Hill, TN

This salad is out of this world! It satisfies all your tastes... sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. The slightly thick, sweet, and pungent poppy seed dressing, mild bitterness of certain varieties of greens, salty-sweet candied pecans, and tangy bleu cheese crumbles make this salad irresistible!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Every aspect of this delicious and fresh salad deserves a Blue Ribbon. The mixture of greens adds lots of interest and flavor. There are slices of strawberries and crumbles of blue cheese throughout the salad. The crunch from the candied pecans is lovely. Coated in a spice mix made with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, we could snack on them all day. Drizzled on top is a sweet and tangy poppy seed dressing that complements all the flavors of the salad. It's one of the best homemade poppy seed dressings we've had. We opted not to add the sliced red onion, but it would add the perfect bite. Enjoy this salad on a warm day with grilled chicken or fish.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
★★★★★ 2
serves 4 - 6
prep time 30 Min
cook time 30 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For strawberry fields salad with poppy seed dressing and candied pecans

  • 10 – 12 oz
    Spring mix or mesclun mix salad greens
  • 6 oz
    fresh baby spinach
  • 1 pt
    fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 - 1 c
    bleu cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 lg
    red onion, cut into rings, optional
  • 1 - 1 1/2 c
    candied pecans (recipe below)
  • 2 c
    poppy seed dressing (recipe below)
  • 8 oz
    pecan halves, about 2 cups
  • 1/2 c
    white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp
  • 3/4 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground nutmeg
  • 1 lg
    egg white
  • 1 Tbsp
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c
    white granulated sugar (for poppy seed dressing)
  • 1/2 c
    white vinegar
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp
    ground dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp
    onion powder
  • 1 c
    vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp
    poppy seeds

How To Make strawberry fields salad with poppy seed dressing and candied pecans

  • Sugar, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg in a plastic bag.
    For Candied Pecans: Preheat oven to 300°F. Put 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, 3/4 tsp salt, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg in a plastic bag. Shake to mix.
  • Egg, water, and vanilla beat until fluffy.
    Put egg, water, and vanilla in a bowl. Beat until slightly foamy.
  • Coating pecans in egg whites.
    Add pecans and coat well.
  • Coating pecans in a cinnamon sugar mixture.
    Lift pecans out of the bowl with a slotted spoon and put them into the bag of sugar and spices. Shake pecans in the bag making sure they are well coated.
  • Coated pecans on a lined baking sheet.
    Place onto a baking sheet lined with Silpat (silicone baking sheet), parchment paper, or lightly greased aluminum foil.
  • Baking the pecans.
    Bake for 30 minutes. 15 minutes into the baking, stir up the pecans with a fork. Let cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 2 cups. Use about 1 - 1 1/2 cups of candied pecan halves in the salad.
  • Sugar, vinegar, salt, dry mustard, onion powder, and oil in a blender.
    For Poppy Seed Dressing: In a blender or food processor, combine 1/3 cup sugar, vinegar, 1 tsp salt, dry mustard, and onion powder. Process for 30 seconds. With a blender or food processor on High, gradually add oil in a steady stream.
  • Stirring in poppy seeds.
    Pour into a bowl and mix in poppy seeds.
  • Lettuce, spinach, strawberries, pecans, and blue cheese in a bowl.
    For Salad: Wash and thoroughly dry Spring/mesclun mix salad greens and baby spinach. Tear any large salad leaves into bite-size pieces. Place in a serving bowl. Remove the stems and caps from washed strawberries and discard. Quarter the strawberries. Add to the greens and toss. Add bleu cheese crumbles to the salad. Break part of 1 - 1 1/2 cups candied pecans in large pieces and leave others in halves; add to salad and toss.
  • Drizzling poppy seed dressing over the salad.
    Serve salad drizzled with poppy seed dressing. Arrange red onion slices on top of the salad, if desired.

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