Fresh Berries and Spinach Salad: So, So Good (and Good for You)

I owe this salad to a certain Scott, who took a 3-month hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. According to his map, it’s two thousand, six hundred sixty-three and one-half miles from the California-Mexico border to the Washington-Canada border.

A salad made with spinach, strawberries, blackberries, and goat cheese on a white ceramic plate sitting on a rustic wooden slab surface. Salad dressing in a white measuring cup and buttered homemade bread is in the background.

There were over three hundred fifteen thousand feet of elevation gain for them to do over one hundred ten days out on the trail, averaging over twenty-five miles per day.

Holy. Shit.

A close up of a fresh berries and spinach salad recipe showing half a plate full on a rustic wooden background.

I really wanted to spell all that out because it is so easy to underestimate something this monumental when you just see a list of numbers. They planned to go 2,663 miles on their feet! In 110 days! It just blows me away.

I know most of what one eats on a trip like this is trail mix and dehydrated food. When it’s all over, you’d probably get sick just thinking about those foods, so my plant was to make him one of these salads as soon as he got back.

A very close in photo of a fresh berry and spinach salad. Selective focus on a couple of berries.

Scott introduced me to this salad a while back when we got together for dinner with a bunch of friends. It is so simple, but so amazingly good. Plus, it fits in with my recent strawberry obsession.

A fresh berry and spinach salad on a porcelain plate which is sitting on a rustic wooden table.

But really, any fresh berries would work. Go crazy and make it with some blueberries and raspberries, or whatever else strikes your fancy. Just make sure you think about what a bigass deal it would be to do that hike and probably not see a leaf of spinach the whole entire time.

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A fresh berry and spinach salad on a porcelain plate which is sitting on a rustic wooden table.

Fresh Berries and Spinach Salad

  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x


A simple salad of fresh berries, toasted walnuts, and spinach. So flavorful all on its own, all you really need is a drizzle of balsamic and maybe a bit of oil for the dressing. Best served with fresh crusty bread to make it a meal.


  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 heaping cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 cups lightly packed spinach
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil (optional)


  1. Place a dry skillet over medium heat and add the walnuts. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, until the walnuts become fragrant and lightly toasted. Careful! They’ll go from perfectly toasted to burnt in a flash. Remove them from the pan.
  2. Pile the berries, cheese, and toasted walnuts on top of the spinach in a large bowl. Drizzle with a bit of good quality balsamic vinegar and some oil if you like, and serve with a hunk of good crusty bread and butter.
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Category: Lunch, Dinner

What’s about you? What kind of berries or fruit would you add? Let us know in the comments below and please rate this recipe at the same time!

For more fresh fruit salads to serve, you’ll like these:

Don’t forget to Pin It!

A collage of photos showing different views of a spinach salad with fresh berries.

Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on May 26th, 2014. Last updated: March 16, 2020 at 21:41 pm.

*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).

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