Strawberry Arugula Salad by Minimalist Baker

If you don’t have a go-to Strawberry Arugula Salad recipe already, a quick google search will turn up limitless results. Or, you can skip the searching and go straight for this beauty by Minimalist Baker. Dana, the minimalist baker, describes this recipe as a flavorful, 30-minute arugula salad with strawberries, brown sugar pecans, hemp seeds and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette! That pretty much sums it up. Visiting the link will also present you with incredibly gorgeous photos of her creation. Enjoy!

Author: Minimalist Baker
Serves: 2 as an entrée or 4 as a side

1/2 cup (50 g) raw pecan halves
1 1/2 Tbsp (23 ml) coconut oil, melted (or sub vegan butter or olive oil)
1 Tbsp (12 g) coconut sugar, brown sugar, or cane sugar
Pinch each sea salt, ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 shallots (60 g), thinly sliced
Pinch each sea salt and pepper (~1/8th tsp)
1/3 cup (80 ml) balsamic vinegar
1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) maple syrup (or sub other sweetener of choice)

1 1/2 cups (180 g) hulled quartered strawberries (organic when possible)
7 ounces (198 g) arugula (organic when possible)
3 Tbsp (30 g) hemp seeds (or sub 1/4 cup cooked quinoa)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and place pecans on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 8 minutes.
2. In the meantime, add coconut oil, coconut sugar, sea salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Remove toasted pecans from oven and toss with spice mixture. Spread back onto the baking sheet and toast for another 4-7 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown, being careful not to burn.
4. Once out of the oven, let cool briefly and then sample to test flavor. Toss with a touch more salt or coconut sugar as needed. Set aside to cool.
5. While the pecans are roasting, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and shallot. Sauté until soft and fragrant – 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
6. Add shallot to blender or food processor with balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp olive oil, maple syrup and a pinch each salt and pepper. Blend until completely pureed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
7. Add arugula, hemp seeds, strawberries and most of the roasted pecans to a large mixing bowl and top with 2-3 Tbsp dressing. Gently toss to combine.
8. Plate salad and garnish with remaining pecans. Serve additional dressing on the side. Serves 2 as an entrée or 4 as a side dish. Best when fresh.