Best Salads Contain FCN + Strawberry Vinaigrette Recipe

One of my favorite local spots for a salad here in Charlotte is Crisp. They are also the ones that blew my mind with the concept of their FCN Salad ... it contains a fruit, a cheese, and a nut. HELLURRR... lightbulb moment! I realized that in order to build a dang delicious salad, all I needed were ingredients from these three categories, some nice greens, a good dressing, and I was set.

Monday night we had a pretty tasty salad if I do say so myself, and the kicker was the strawberry vinaigrette dressing. Homemade ... and easy as sin.

I started off with baby spinach leaves and addeed blackberries, whole pecans, and slices of Parrano cheese. When working with a firmer cheese like this one, you can make these pretty cheese strips using a regular old vegetable peeler. I learned this trick from the cheese guy at Whole Foods. No fancy kitchen gadgets needed!

Did I lose you at "homemade strawberry vinaigrette"? Well ... give me a chance to explain. It's crazy easy. I just mixed mine right up in a baby food jar.

Strawberry Vinaigrette
Strawberry preserves (about 1 heaping tablespoon, or to taste)
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt

Add preserves to a glass jar and microwave for about 15-20 seconds or until it's slighlty liquefied. Add in equal parts of the olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste. Finish with a pinch of salt and mix together well. 

The red wine vinegar gives the dressing the tang it needs to really pop. This dressing was so simple. You could even use low sugar or sugar-free strawberry preserves if you are watching your sugar or carbohydrate intake.

We had this salad alongside peppercorn pork tenderloin with sweet & spicy mustard and roasted carrots seasoned with cinnamon and cumin. 

Happy dinner planning ... and don't forget about the FCN when planning out your salads!


  1. Yum! My favorite is FCN and A! I feel the need for avocado in every salad I eat.

    1. Preach! Love some avocado! We had it last night in our wedge salads.

  2. Girl, you can cook! Every meal you make looks fancy but is practical and easy for a weeknight!

    1. Aw, thank you ... there are many nights when I just open a can of green beans, too :)

  3. YUM! sounds like a delicious combination! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  4. SO smart...vegetable peeler with the hard cheeses. HELLO, easy peasy and genius!!! xx

  5. I was pretty weary when you said homemade dressing, but you are right, so simple.

    1. Next thing you know, you will have some baby food jars around, mama! So save them (or old mustard, caper, or olive jars) and you have the easiest thing ever for making vinaigrettes. :)

  6. I just pinned this, and can't wait to make it! Also, love the homemade dressing idea!

  7. Love this simple recipe for the strawberry vinaigrette! I love all things homemade! Thanks for sharing this!


  8. i love homemade vinaigrettes. they're way too easy and so much healthier. my faves that i made are a citrus shallot and a ginger tahini. so good!

  9. FCN is SO true! This Strawberry Vinaigrette sounds absolutely delightful! I will be trying it very soon. Thank you for sharing. :)

    xo Always, Abby

  10. Love this idea! I just printed off the menu for Crisp for inspiration!

  11. you had me at strawberry my friend!!!!

  12. yum! Going to try this dressing soon! Thanks.

  13. This looks mouth watering!! I've never had blackberries on a salad but they look delish!
    Ally - Life as I know it

  14. Yep...definitely stealing this dressing recipe. Sounds like perfection!

  15. Your recipes are so creative, I love them! Thanks for sharing. :) Xo, Stephanie

  16. This looks fabulous and your photog skills are pretty amazing! Mel at mothersheeporganics

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