There’s nothing quite like a crisp refreshing salad on a warm summer day. It’s a wonderful way to take advantage of the fresh produce in season, and without cooking as much, it’s an excellent way to beat the heat. The forecast this past week was full of high temperatures, and this layered spinach and pot sticker salad was my answer. Juicy summer strawberries? Check! A protein that is more exciting than my go-to grilled chicken or shrimp? Check! Crunchy topper? Check! In and out of the kitchen in less than 30 minutes? Check!
Believe it or not, it gets even better. A lot of the prep work can be done a day before. I made the dressing and stored it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until I needed it; be sure to whisk it well before you use it. Since I was already working with the strawberries, I just continued to slice up the rest and stored them the same way. I did the chips a day ahead as well, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the oven. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature, and the salad is almost complete. The next day when you go to make the salad, the only thing that you have to do is boil the pot stickers according to the package directions and layer away.
The strawberries were just as juicy and sweet as I’d hoped. They were a terrific balance to the spinach, which at times can be a slightly bitter green. The dressing had a lovely tang from the red wine vinegar that made it slightly reminiscent of sweet and sour sauce and perfect for the pot stickers. The spiced chips had just the right amount of heat from the cayenne to round out the whole dish. I did tweak the recipe ever so slightly. I live alone, and there was no reason to make such a large salad, so I halved the whole recipe. Even then I still had 3 main dish portions, so I opted to not actually layer it in a trifle dish. I built each salad individually in bowls with all the ingredients when the time came and added dressing as desired. I also used a baked version of the ridged potato chips because I like them better. I had no complaints about this salad. It’s now my go-to summer salad recipe, and it can be yours too. Find it here! If you’re looking for even more sensational summer salads, check them out here: Our Best Summer Salads.