Salad Dressing of Strawberry Balsamic Reduction

by Jenn on April 5, 2010

in Dips and Sauces,Gluten Free,Vegetarian

_PAG5028salad _PAG5000salad

Yes it is the long awaited strawberry balsamic salad dressing!  This dressing is packed with flavor.  You don’t need a lot.  If you are the type to add 1/2 cup of dressing into your bowl and thickly coat all of your salad, this is not the dressing for you.  Here, a little bit goes a long way.

I first wrote about it last week after enjoying a great rainy (always rainy) weekend in Montreux looking at some beautiful Swiss mountains across the lake.  Now, Spring really is in full bloom, and I even got to see some sunshine today!  Sunshine seems to be a rare treat after such a long and gray Winter, and I am looking forward to actually enjoying being outside again.

I love that I can get fresh strawberries here in March/April.  One of the awesome things about living in Europe is that there exists a wide variety of climates in a relatively small area (compared to the US) – these strawberries came from Spain, which is about 500 miles (depending on where in Spain) from where I am.  In the States, that would be close enough for my old grocery store to put up a giant “Local!” sign, haha.  Not sure if I would call Spain “local”, but at least they weren’t shipped across continents.

Since I first mentioned about this, I’ve made it a few times, and I think I finally have the best balance of tart and sweet.  The great thing is, there is no exact science to dressing.  Usually I don’t even measure things, I just throw stuff together and whisk.  That’s really all you need to do as well.  I love that it goes well on a variety of salad toppings – my favorite way to enjoy this is to pair it with some rather salty salad fixings – I used some thinly sliced bündnerfleisch (a Swiss cured beef) in my salad, as the salty cured meat marries very well to the sweet & tart dressing.  Oh and those morel chips I made last week?  They are an absolutely perfect salad topper as well, along with some herbed chevre to adorn this salad.  Chevre is not a really salty cheese, but its mellow texture was a welcome contrast to the crunchy radishes and morel chips.  But then I could talk about morels forever – they always seem to somehow find a way to re-enter my thought processes, maybe because I am so happy that fresh ones are in abundance right now.  Someday I would love to figure out how to forage for my own, but until then I am quite content to buy them at the market.  But this post is about strawberries and dressing! Not morels.  I digress.  Gah, I always digress…..

Ok, here is my long awaited recipe!  If you try it, I am curious to know what you think!  I think any berry would work really well in this dressing, I just happen to have a penchant for strawberries…


Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

An original recipe by Jenn Cuisine
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 30 min
Yield: 2 cups

  • 1 pint strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
  • fresh thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 c. honey (variable to desired sweetness)
  • equal volume of extra virgin olive oil

1. Purée strawberries in a food processor and then add to a medium pot with lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and gradually add in the balsamic.  Let reduce to 1/2 – 1/3 original volume, stirring occaisionally.
2. Remove from heat, let cool to room temp, and add in desired amount of honey.  Then whisk with an equal volume of olive oil.  Serve over your favorite salad.


Also linked to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Also linked to – Gluten Free Wednesdays


Joy April 5, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Thanks for the recipe. I have been meaning to making my own salad dressing for a while!

Jenn April 7, 2010 at 8:18 am

Thanks! I’ve gotten myself in the habit of making my own salad dressing – you can make rather large batches of most types of salad dressing, and they are usually more flavorful rather than overwhelmingly sugary like I find so many bottled dressings to be…

Aubree Cherie April 6, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Wow, I bet this is pretty fantastic! I love strawberries :)

~Aubree Cherie

Jenn April 7, 2010 at 8:16 am

Yes me too! Strawberries are pretty much my favorite fruit ever. It’s why I have a little one in my logo :)

Chelsey April 6, 2010 at 9:45 pm

I think this would be perfect on my spinach salad tonight. Must be nice having fresh strawberries locally in season. The ones I’m getting are from California, not quite the same as “in season” !

Chelsey April 7, 2010 at 2:17 am

I made it!

Absolutely delicious it was, lightly drizzled across my spinach salad (with toasted almonds and feta). I enjoyed every bite…Too bad I only made a half recipe :( I can envision this as a nice glaze for salmon or grilled chicken breasts too.

Jenn April 7, 2010 at 8:19 am

Oh a glaze would be a great idea! I’m so glad that you liked it, and your salad of spinach and almonds and feta sounds perfect with a strawberry dressing!

JoAnn April 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm

What a wonderful recipe for a springtime salad dressing! It WOULD work really well on a spinach salad…and as a glaze as well! YUM!

Jenn April 8, 2010 at 9:06 am

Thanks! Now I need to come up with ideas to use it for a glaze :)

Linda April 8, 2010 at 3:10 am

I think I would love this salad dressing. Thanks for sharing it on Gluten Free Wednesdays. (It’s really odd that you can’t find a muffin pan there!)

Jenn April 8, 2010 at 9:06 am

Yeah I know! – I think I just haven’t found the right place to look yet…..I’m going to try some department stores this weekend and they should have something, at least a brioche pan which would work just as well :)

GFree_Miel April 9, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Thank you thank you thank you for posting this!!! I’ve been looking to play around with salads for a while so this is perfect!

Jenn April 10, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Oh your welcome! If you make it I’d like to hear how it comes out for you!

Nancy jenkins March 7, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Your dressing was just what I was looking for with a balsamic reduction plus fruit. I served it over a mâché -arugula combination of greens and added chopped strawberries and blueberries and avocado slices. Then sprinkled toasted and sea salted chopped hazelnuts on top. Yummy and so gourmet!

Jenn March 7, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Oh thanks, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! Your salad sounds wonderful.

Iris May 12, 2011 at 7:12 am

Yum…using this for a menu for a class project!

Jenn May 12, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Oh fun!! Hope you enjoy it!

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