Strawberry, Spinach, Rice Salad

Heidi Swanson‘s Super Natural Every Day introduced us to a whole new side of healthy cooking. In her book, Swanson channels the San Franscisco organic & local culinary tradition, all the while creating a collection of relatively easy, quick & tasty dishes to try out.

Many of her recipes have pushed us to experiment with all sorts of weird new healthy ingredients. We have learned to cook with quinoa, tried out tempeh and mung beans. We’ve used miso in sauces and bakes, and have finally picked up some agave syrup to sweeten stuff.

This week we decided to try out a whole grain rice salad that she does mixed with cherries. Since it is not quite cherry season here in Berlin, we substituted the cherries with strawberries. The resulting dish very much in the spirit of Berlin Lunchbox. Below is our version of Heidi Swanson’s delicious, filling & healthy rice salad.

The Recipe

Strawberry, Spinach, Rice Salad

adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day 

serves 4

450 g of cooked rice, whole grain, mixed basmati or wild.

4 handfuls of baby spinach (you can also use fresh regular spinach cut into small pieces)

85 g walnuts

200 g Strawberries, trimmed

Some small basil leaves

75 g crumbly goat cheese

Olive oil

60 ml white wine vinegar



Chives (optional)

While the rice is cooking, toast the walnuts in a small pan over medium heat. Be sure not to burn them. Stop once a toasted nutty fragrance starts to emerge.

When the rice is done, mix in the spinach and stir. If you are using regular full grown spinach, be sure to keep the pot of rice on low heat until the spinach wilts.

Add the toasted walnuts.

In a separate bowl, prepare the dressing. Take half of the strawberries, a few tablespoons of olive oil, the white wine vinegar and some salt. Blend using a hand blender (or standing blender if you would prefer). You end up with a bright pink dressing. Poor half of it over the rice and mix in. If it is still in need of moisture add some more. Thinly chop the remaining strawberries. Upon serving,  sprinkle the chopped strawberries, the basil leaves, some crumbled goat cheese and some more of the dressing over the dish. You can also add some finely chopped chives for added color.

Enjoy this tasty spring/summer recipe!

9 Responses to “Strawberry, Spinach, Rice Salad”
  1. What an interesting salad – it’s incredible how well strawberries go in this sort of thing. Delicious!

    • Anna says:

      It was a little bit of shot in the dark, but it definitely worked out for the best. But it was the strawberry, goat cheese, basil combo that really got me. The spinach was a little more in the background on this dish. I want to experiment a little more with that combo in the future.

      We will also be trying this recipe with cherries once we have some in our community garden!

      • That combination does sound incredible! I’ll be doing some interesting things with strawberries this summer! Awesome. Our cherries are just starting to form.

  2. Carine says:

    It does look delicious!

  3. I would think it strange to put some of the these ingredients together (I guess the rice seems like the odd one here)…but they look great in a plate!! Such lovely presentation! I can only imagine the cherries in this dish!

    • Anna says:

      Rice salads are surprisingly great. I never really ate them before coming to Berlin, but now I adore them. This strawberry, spinach, rice one is definitely unusual, but also really really tasty.

      But I think next time if we do this for guests we might use only the really dark rice, cause I found the color of the dressing mixed with the white rice a little dull.

  4. sybaritica says:

    I’m not a huge walnut fan but the rest of that dish looks lovely!

  5. hyggehygge says:

    Looks delicious! Great mixing in the ever-faithful goat cheese here. Yummo.

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