Everybody loves the Classic Seven Layer Salad, that messy concoction of lettuce, bacon, cheese, bacon, tomato and hard-cooked egg. Wait, is that seven layers? Ooops, add green peas, too.
This is a summer and fruity version of that salad, substituting colorful layers of fresh fruit: strawberries, kiwis and mango plus avocado and toasted walnuts. Seven-Layer Strawberry Salad: the name alone makes me want to mix up another beautiful bowlful!
It was the crowd favorite at a party last week and would make a great contribution to the next potluck or dinner gathering.
RECIPE for SEVEN-LAYER STRAWBERRY SALAD with HOMEMADE POPPY SEED DRESSING
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves about 12
HOMEMADE POPPY SEED DRESSING (enough for two salads)
4 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sugar (I used cane sugar)
1 tablespoon red onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
SEVEN-LAYER STRAWBERRY SALAD
Fresh strawberries, trimmed and sliced
Red onion, chopped very fine
Kiwi fruit, peeled and diced
Mango, peeled and diced
Avocado, peeled and diced, stirred with a tablespoon of lemon juice to prevent browning
Toasted walnuts, chopped
HOMEMADE POPPY SEED DRESSING Mix all ingredients except poppy seeds in a small food processor or blender. Stir in the poppy seeds. Can be made in advance. The dressing will separate, just stir to recombine. Makes about 14 tablespoons, a scant cup. You may not need all the dressing, I used about half.
SEVEN-LAYER STRAWBERRY SALAD In a large glass bowl, build seven layers, then repeat. Just before serving, drizzle with Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
I love-love-love the look of a trifle bowl for seven-layer and other showy salads. The downside is that it's hard to toss with ingredients with the dressing. So I must admit that for me, the trifle dish is all for show and when it comes time to serve, I move it to a big salad bowl for easier serving.
To serve 12, I used 1-1/2 heads romaine, 1 pound strawberries, 1 small red onion, 4 kiwi fruit, 2 mangoes, 2 avocados and about 1 cup toasted walnuts. I considered adding bits of feta or blue cheese, but was very happy with this particular combination of ingredients.
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