Recipe: Spinach salad a la strawberry

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Strawberries can taste wonderful in savory recipes. Here, a fresh strawberry puree is the basis of a dressing for spinach salad with red onion and kiwifruit.

The dressing, accented with fresh tarragon and garlic, has just one tablespoon of oil--much less than most dressings.

Though the strawberries are low in fat and calories, the crumbled queso fresco will add a little fat to the salad, but also a nice salty-sweet combination of flavors.

Spinach Salad With Queso Fresco and Strawberry Dressing

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

1 pint strawberries, hulled

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon minced tarragon

1 tablespoon snipped chives

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup water

Salt, pepper

8 cups torn spinach leaves

4 thin slices red onion

4 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup queso fresco

Puree the strawberries with a pulsing motion in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the rice vinegar, olive oil, tarragon, chives, lemon juice, garlic, water, salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the spinach, red onion, and kiwifruit among 4 chilled serving plates. Sprinkle the salads with queso fresco. Serve with the strawberry dressing.

Each serving with 1 tablespoon dressing: 82 calories; 126 mg sodium; 3 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 2.79 grams fiber.

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