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This. Salad. (HolyCow!)

I thought you might like to see a few pictures of the lovely Easter Brunch we enjoyed here over the weekend.  It was an intimate affair (just six of us) and the toddler was in bed for nap time… so I was able to go “all out” with a delectable menu and pretty place settings.  Many of the menu items I shared with you in this post!

Also, speaking of breakfast food, I recently gave away one of my favorite breakfast/brunch items on the Pretty/Hungry Facebook page… a batch of homemade Maple Pecan Granola!  Periodically I like to give away yummy treats to my wonderful readers, and Facebook is where I post most of my giveaways. :)  So if you’d like to get in on that action, you can find the Pretty/Hungry Facebook page here!

But back to the Brunch.  My husband helped me set out the china…  (Off-topic question: Do you own china?  Do you use it?  I didn’t register for any when we got married because I thought surely I’d never use it!  But I inherited this set from my Dad a few months ago and have LOVED having it!  Anyone want to help me start a “Bring back china” movement?


Easter Brunch Table Setting


We had a great time!  We wined… we dined… we whiled away the morning enjoying each other’s company.  We went back for seconds.  Some of us even went back for thirds.  (HEY, some of us are pregnant, ok?)


The Perfect Easter Brunch Menu


And everything was delicious!

My one critique (is it conceited to only have one critique of a meal you made yourself?) is that the Pain au Chocolat lacked complexity to me.  The recipe I found online was very simple, made with just dark chocolate and puff pastry.  But I now know that when I make it in the future (and when I share the recipe here for all of you) I will include a sprinkling of sea salt with the chocolate center, to give it much-needed depth.  If there’s one thing I can’t abide, it’s desserts that leave out the salt.



And now, for the namesake recipe of this post.

This.  Salad.  (HolyCow!)

I loved it.  I gobbled it up.  I had to resist the urge to keep bringing it up in our conversation at the table.  You may think, “This looks like every other fruity spinach salad out there… what’s the big deal?!?”  Well, perhaps it’s the addition of avocado, toasted pecans, and flavorful feta.  Or perhaps it’s the fresh ginger & citrus dressing.  Perhaps it’s all of the above.  But bottom line:  I loved it.  And I loved it more than the usual fruity spinach salads I’ve tried over the years.



When you make this salad, I recommend buying fresh ginger if you can find it… or dried (or crystallized) ginger if you don’t have access to fresh.  Just don’t get the powdered stuff for this.  I also recommend splurging on a decent feta cheese.  (I really think it’s a waste of time to buy “fat-free” feta, for instance.  No flavor whatsoever.)  And lastly, I recommend lightly toasting your pecans in a dry saute pan (just for a few minutes) before adding them to the salad.  It makes them much crunchier and richer in flavor.



I’ve already had a few people request this recipe early, so I know it’ll be a hit with your families just like it was with mine…  it’s a great one to have in your back pocket for any occasion!  (Plus the dressing is just sublime.  You should definitely make a big bottle to keep in the door of your fridge for all types of salads, not just this one.)

Here is the printable.  Hope you have a lovely week!  I have big plans to finally cash in on my Christmas gift from Chris, a spa gift card!



Strawberry, Spinach, Avocado, & Citrus Salad
Prep Time:
Total Time:
This salad is colorful, sweet, and a perfect balance of flavors and textures. The ginger & orange dressing is also very good as a marinade for chicken and pork!
Serves:: 6
  • Salad:
  • 1 pint strawberries, cored and cut into quarters
  • 2 clementines, peeled and broken into segments
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • ½ cup toasted pecan halves
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • Dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • ⅓ C. olive oil
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)
  • ½ tsp. poppy seeds
  1. Wash and prepare all salad ingredients and combine in a large bowl. (If not serving right away, wait to cut avocado right before serving.)
  2. For dressing, place garlic and ginger in a mini food processor and pulse til both are finely minced. Then add all remaining dressing ingredients and pulse until emulsified. (Dressing can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, if desired.)
  3. Just prior to serving, toss salad together with about half the dressing (to start) and add more if needed.
  4. Enjoy!




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Quinoa Greek Salad

Quinoa Greek Salad!




10 Responses so far.

  1. Holy cow indeed! That looks delicious. I’ve been wanting some good salad ideas. Can I ask what you might recommend serving with this? It seems like it would pair well with a fish main.

    • Carissa says:

      Kate, I am partial to quiche and salad paired together… any time of day! That’s my automatic thought. But I also think it pairs nicely with soups (chicken & wild rice, for example.) And yes, fish would be a lovely pairing! (Tilapia and salmon are my two favorites.)

  2. Connie says:

    Your table looked pretty and that salad looks delicious! Hope to try the salad soon.

  3. Susan Hodges says:

    Does that China have tiny white/gray flowers on it? Possible silver edges?

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