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Spinach & Strawberry Salad

Paula Nemzek for KCTS 9 Cooks

This colorful summer salad takes advantage of fresh, locally-grown strawberries.

serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 10-ounce bag spinach, torn into bite-size pieces
2 pints cleaned strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
3/4 cup shredded cooked chicken (optional)
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)

In a medium bowl, whisk together sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Cover, and chill for 1 hour. To save time chopping the onion, you may whisk the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
In a large bowl, arrange spinach, strawberries, onions nuts and chicken. Sprinkle cheese on top. Pour dressing over salad, toss and serve.

Note: This salad doesn’t keep well after it's dressed, as the vinegar wilts the spinach, so if you think you'll have leftovers, add dressing to individual bowls and serve. Rotisserie chicken works great and makes this recipe super-easy. Sub pecans for the walnuts and feta for the blue cheese, or stretch the salad by adding more spinach.