The combination of flavor profiles and textures in this salad surprises people—the mix of fruit with balsamic vinegar, creamy goat cheese, bitter greens, candied nuts and a shot of Cajun seasoning. It’s at its best when local strawberries are in season.


Candied nuts
1 egg white
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 lb. walnuts

Balsamic vinaigrette
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup cold water

6 oz. spring mix
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
5 strawberries, sliced


  1. For candied nuts: Take 1 egg white and whisk until stiff peaks are formed. Mix brown sugar and Cajun seasoning into egg whites; consistency should be like wet sand. Add walnuts and coat thoroughly. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. For balsamic vinaigrette: In a blender, mix Dijon, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and blend thoroughly. With blender on low speed, slowly add vegetable oil 1 cup at a time, until it starts to emulsify (if it gets too thick, add 1 tablespoon water at a time until desired consistency is met).
  3. For salad: Put spring mix and balsamic vinaigrette in a bowl and toss lightly until covered. Plate salad mix and place sliced strawberries, candied nuts and crumbled goat cheese on top.