Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Salad - Yum!!!

Most of you probably have realized that I do not cook often.  However, I recently discovered the most delicious salad that I think I have ever eaten!  It is Trisha Yearwood's Strawberry Salad and I will share the recipe at the end of the post. Trisha Yearwood is a singing star who is now married to Garth Brooks.  Her home town of Monticello, Georgia is near where I live.  Sadly, the closest that I have ever come to seeing her was once in Monticello, when I was passing through with a group of school children that I had driven on a field trip.  We stopped at the local Dairy Queen and her bus pulled up just as we were going into the restaurant. We were so excited, but no Trisha - only her "roadies" who were stopping for a treat!

Not only does Trisha's salad taste wonderful, but it looks beautiful!  I love the way the red strawberries look against the green spinach and Romain lettuce.

Since I set this table for Kathleen of Cuisine Kathleen in response to her latest challenge of setting a Spring table, I supposed that I should discuss the tableware a little, before getting back to the food! I used a Ralph Lauren tablecloth that I have had forever. Sorry, but I do not remember the pattern name.  On top, I used older beige placemats and a new Bordallo Piheiro "Cabbage" charger.  The dinner plate is "Pearl" by J C Penney from Replacements and the salad plate is a wonderful piece that I discovered at Maryland China in their clearance section.  I love the pattern of pretty Spring flowers and the reticulated edges.  These plates are by Thun.


I used emerald green "Momento" napkins by Sferra, flatware by Barenthol, "Delilah" water goblets by Schott-Zwiesel, and a green balloon wine glass by an unknown maker.

The beautiful cut crystal bowl was a gift from a member of my husband's family.  Oh, how I love this piece!!

Now, for the good part - the recipe for the salad:

Trisha Yearwood's Strawberry Salad (serves 6)


1 package of Ramen Noodles, crushed, flavor packet discarded
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (I use sunflower kernels, already roasted - more about that later)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 head Romain lettuce, washed and dried
1 5-oz bag baby spinach
1 pint strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cloves garlic, minced


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix the crushed Ramen Noodles, almonds, sunflower seeds (or kernels) and melted butter.  Transfer to a baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

*** My note.  If you use the pre-roasted sunflower kernels (I use Planters Dry Roasted ones), wait until after baking the other ingredients to add them or they will burn.  I just add them into the mixture, coating them with the butter, after removing the rest of the mixture from the oven.  Also, after the first time that I made this, I cut down on the amount of butter stated in the recipe.  I had to blot the mixture with many paper towels, because I thought the mixture was too greasy.  However, this is something you can do "to taste", I think.***

Tear the lettuce and combine with the spinach, strawberries and cheese in a large salad bowl.

Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar.  Combine the oil, paprika, salt and garlic and then add to the sugar-vinegar mixture. Mix well and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Just before serving, sprinkle the crunchy topping over the salad greens and toss the salad with enough dressing to coat.

*** One more note from me.  I do not eat salad dressings, so I cannot vouch for this one. I did make it once with a little garlic power, instead of the actual garlic and someone asked for the recipe.  However, the other times that I have served it to guests, I have used a high quality raspberry-walnut vinaigrette that I purchased at the store. I really do not think it matters, since the salad and topping are so fabulous!***

I do hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as I have. It is one of those fabulous recipes that you can personalize - the next time I prepare it, I am going to add some Mandarin oranges.  I would love to know what would you like to add to suit your taste...


Sharing at:

Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish

Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays


  1. Hi Diane,
    Sounds like an awesome salad. The last years I have really gotten to love fruit in my salads, it is really such a treat especially for spring and summer and sometimes you can add rotisserie chicken and that is good with it too, not always tho. Course, think if you get used to it without the chicken and then add it I don't like it as well. A lot of times I use poppy seed dressing or a citrus vinagriette that I found. Your table looks very pretty and I am sure the salad was delectable.............

    Blessing's, Nellie

  2. I rarely cook, but I think I might make this wonderful salad for dinner tomorrow night. I pinned it so I won't forget it and I rarely pin food.

  3. Your salad looks wonderful. I would not change a thing. Wish I had some right now. It looks so refreshing.

    Your bowl is VERY BEAUTIFUL! I see why you LOVE IT!

    I love the emerald green goblets and napkins. Spring is all about GREEN so your spring tablescape represents spring well. My favorite plate is the reticulated plate with spring flowers. It is stunning.

    Hope your week is going well. Enjoy SPRING!

  4. Hey girl..
    Well, as you know I love your salad plates and you have inspired me to dig out some that my Mama gave me years ago and I have never even used them once..I know that was a very long, run on sentence.LOL
    I have a little story for you..My husband's grandmother is a Yearwood..yes, the very same ones..and my husband has an awesome singing voice. He gave it up to pursue business but..I still miss hearing him sing....and it runs in the family... :-)
    I am going to pin your wonderful salad and make it soon..
    I always enjoy your posts....dear friend...
    Love, Mona

  5. Diane,
    Oh, my. . .I can't believe how closely the pattern of your reticulated salad plates match those of my German Democratic Republic china!!! Even the three florals on the edge match those on the saucers!!! Amazing!!!
    The green of your tablescape adds the energy of Spring's awakening
    in our homes, our hearts and our souls after the long Winter months!
    This tablescape is stunning, dear one!!!
    Thank you for sharing the Strawberry Salad recipe!

  6. Diane, that last image is award winning! The shadow play on your beautiful reticulated plate is gorgeous. Great job!
    The strawberry salad is one of my favorites.

  7. I adore your reticulated plates in this lovely tablescape with such an amazing salad! Thanks for sharing everything! Very pretty crystal salad bowl too!

  8. What a pretty table!! I love your new salad plates (I'll have to check out my Maryland China Co. catalog!) and everything goes so well with your beautiful and happy tablecloth!! I have copied your recipe and will definitely try it once I have some strawberries in the house. Thank you for sharing.....Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  9. Diane,

    the table is lovely and the salad looks just wonderful! I love those green cabbage dishes too, they're simply stunning!

  10. Beautiful table and salad...your plate stack is lovely.

  11. Hi Diane How are you.Happy to be back with you all.Missed all the nice things on blog land for sometime.Your table and the spread looks lovely.I will try this...Love and hugs..:):)

  12. Diane, beautiful table...those BP cabbage charger are wonderful, yes? Pretty tablecloth. Love the reticulated salad plates...and those wine stems are a gorgeous shade of green.
    Have a great week...and I ♥ cooking!

  13. Hi Diane! So nuce to "meet" you! Thanks so much for your visit and sweet comments! I love your beautiful table. The tablecloth is gorgeous and the salad plates go so beautifully with it! I have tyhe same flatware too! I totally understand why you loce the cut glass bowl. I have a few from my Grandmother and my hubby's Mother that I treasure too. The salad sounds wonderful, I make a very similiar one and DO use mandarin oranges (well drained). Thanks for tyhe recipe!!!!

  14. Oh the salad does sound good, and it is a perfect pairing for your beautiful table!

  15. Oh my that salad does look good and even more so in that beautiful crystal bowl! Love the table setting! The green stemware grabs your eye and those salad plates are beautiful. I do like that RL tablecloth. I've been very happy with the one's I've found from RL- good quality and great designs!

  16. This is ALL so beautiful! I love the colors and the florals coordinate so well. The pierced salad plate is lovely and I love the last picture with the shadows. The salad sounds very yummy.
    Great job!


  17. Thanks for stopping by! This salad and the table both are scrumptious. My father would not eat dressing either, and we always had to remove his serving before dressing the salad. Probably healthier that way1

  18. This looks great. Love how everything is so bright and cheerful.

    Thanks for sharing your post with Seasonal Sundays.

    - Alma, The Tablescaper

  19. Ramen noodles??!?!?! Really??!?!?! Who'd have thought?! Well, the salad looks great and the ingredients sound great (LOVE both raw spinach and Romaine lettuce!), so it HAS to taste great! We're not getting strawberries around here for a few more weeks. The growing season was slowed by the long winter.

    LOVE Trisha Yearwood!!! Saw her when she made a special appearance with Garth a few years back when he was here for that record-setting marathon concert at the Sprint Center. Snapped a few pics that turned out a little fuzzy. (We were on the floor, but on the 20th row and I didn't have the really good camera like I do now.) What a fun night that was! They make such a cute couple!!!

    The salad colors work so well with the tablecloth! That's wild!!! Very pretty!