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Farmer’s Market Strawberry Bacon + Blue Cheese Salad

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Hit the farmer’s market this weekend and grab up ingredients to make this super flavorful Strawberry Bacon + Blue Cheese Salad! It’s a perfect light, summertime meal.

An oval serving dish filled with baby salad greens, strawberries, hard boiled egg halves, pecans and caramelized onions on a wood table.
This recipe is part of the cozy mystery cooking club series.

The Salad of the Season with Juicy Strawberries, Bacon + Blue Cheese

We’re very deliberate with our book picks over in the Cozy Mystery Cooking Club, and this time is no different! With farmer’s markets and produce stands now in full swing, we are reading No Farm, No Foul by Peg Cochran. Our heroine not only runs a farm, but blogs about her farming adventures and delicious from-the-farm recipes!

So, off to my local farmer’s market to find inspiration! Not a hard task. It’s strawberry season after all, so there are gorgeous fresh berries at every turn. Not to mention all the beautiful herbs and baby leafy greens! 

Throw in some farm fresh eggs and a few other goodies, like crisp bacon, blue cheese and crunchy nuts and you’ve got the perfect farmer’s market summer salad!

A table with filled with potted herb plants at a farmer's market.

Gather Your Ingredients

In addition to kosher salt + fresh cracked black pepper, you’ll need:

  • Mixed baby greens — or a single variety like fresh spinach, arugula, watercress, etc. 
  • Fresh strawberries — seasonally sweet strawberries make for a beautiful salad!
  • Eggs — hard or medium cooked. I love to steam eggs to make them super easy to peel.
  • Bacon — cooked crisp and crumbled by hand.
  • Creamy blue cheese — any variety, including English stilton or Italian gorgonzola cheese.
  • Nuts — any variety of toasted or seasoned, like crunchy walnuts or candied pecans.
  • Sweet onion — these get caramelized to bring out more sweetness.
  • Sherry vinegar — add a splash to the onions to add a little brightness to their flavor, and it’s used in the dressing.
  • Honey — grab some local honey at the farmer’s market, too!
  • Extra-virgin olive oil — for a lovely fruity note to the dressing.
  • Fresh basil — a beautiful complement to strawberries, this goes in the dressing.
Hand holding a pint of ripe strawberries above a display of strawberries.

How To Make Strawberry Bacon + Blue Cheese Salad

  1. Caramelize the onions — heat oil in a skillet over medium-high. Once shimmering, add the sliced onions and season. Stir to coat, then spread them out evenly across the bottom. Turn the burner down to medium heat. Occasionally stir the onions so they don’t burn and cook evenly. Once they are deep golden brown, stir in a splash of sherry vinegar then set aside to cool.
  2. Make the vinaigrette — whisk together sherry vinegar, honey and a pinch of salt. Slowly pour in the oil as you whisk. Taste and season with additional salt + pepper as needed, then finish by adding in fresh chopped basil.
  3. Assemble the salad — place greens into a large bowl or serving platter. Distribute sliced strawberries and halved eggs throughout. Sprinkle with caramelized onions, bacon, blue cheese and nuts. Finish with a drizzle of the vinaigrette or serve it on the side.

Helpful Recipe Tips

If you’d like to make this ahead, assemble the salad, cover and store it in the fridge. Store the dressing in a separate container at room temperature. Drizzle on the dressing just before serving. 

The dressing does not include an emulsifier, so it will separate as it sits. Make the vinaigrette in a mason jar so you can shake it up just before serving. You can also add a teaspoon or more of dijon mustard to the dressing to help keep it from separating.

Salad Recipe Variations

  • Skip the caramelized onions for raw, slivered red onion instead to give a spicy bite to your salad. 
  • If you’re not a fan of blue cheese (I get that), sub in your favorite cheese. Fresh crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese would also be great options in this delicious salad.
  • Sherry vinegar has less acidity and sometimes carries a caramel or nutty flavor. If you’d like more of a vinegary pop, use red or white wine vinegar. 
  • Dress this salad with something else altogether, like a poppy seed dressing or hot bacon dressing.
  • If you need to avoid nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds (you can even find these glazed and seasoned in all sorts of fun ways) would make great salad toppings. 
  • This salad can be served as a side dish and makes a great light meal for lunch or dinner, but if you want to amp it up as a main dish, consider topping it with tender grilled chicken breasts.
A salad bowl filled with baby lettuces, strawberries, hard boiled eggs, pecans and caramelized onions.

What to Sip with Your Farmer’s Market Salad

With a combo of strawberries and blue cheese, a slightly sweet white wine like Riesling or Gewürztraminer will be delish. Off-dry sparkling wines like Moscato D’asti or Prosecco would also work beautifully.

If you’re not imbibing, enjoy your salad with a fruity iced tea or fruit infused sparkling water.

When to Enjoy This Salad

For sure during strawberry season, so the warmer months! It’s ideal for brunch, a family gathering or even a dinner party. Serve it as a main meal or alongside your favorite cookout recipes!

A salad bowl filled with baby lettuces, strawberries, hard boiled eggs, pecans and caramelized onions on a wood table.

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An oval serving dish filled with baby salad greens, strawberries, hard boiled egg halves, pecans and caramelized onions on a wood table.

Farmer’s Market Strawberry Bacon + Blue Cheese Salad

Linda Feller
Hit the farmer’s market this weekend and grab up ingredients to make this super flavorful Strawberry Bacon + Blue Cheese Salad! It’s a perfect light, summertime meal.
Prep time.10 minutes
Cook time.20 minutes
Total time.30 minutes
Course.Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine.American
Number of servings.4
Calories per serving.567 kcal

Ingredients

Caramelized Onions

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Sherry Honey Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

Salad

  • 6 ounce mixed baby greens, or a single variety like arugula, spinach, cress, etc.
  • 8 ounce strawberries, hulled + sliced
  • 4 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled + halved
  • 4 strips crispy bacon, crumbled
  • 2 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 ounce nuts, glazed or toasted, your choice

Instructions

  • Caramelize the onions: heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Once shimmering, add the onions and season with salt + pepper. Stir to coat with the oil then spread them out evenly across the pan. Reduce the heat to medium. Allow the onions to brown, stirring occasionally so they cook evenly + don't burn. Once they are a deep brown and tender, stir in a splash of sherry vinegar. Set aside to cool.
  • Make the vinaigrette: whisk together the 1/4 cup of sherry vinegar, honey and a pinch of salt. Slowly pour in the oil as you continue to whisk. Taste and season with additional salt + pepper, as needed. Stir in the chopped basil.
  • Assemble the salad: Place the greens into a large serving bowl. Distribute the strawberries + halved eggs throughout. Sprinkle with caramelized onions, crumbled bacon, blue cheese and nuts. Drizzle the dressing all over, or serve it on the side.

Notes

  • The dressing does not include an emulsifier, so it will separate as it sits. Make the vinaigrette in a mason jar so you can shake it up just before serving. You can also add a teaspoon or more of dijon mustard to the dressing to help keep it from separating.
  • If you’d like to make this ahead, assemble the salad, cover and store it in the fridge. Store the dressing in a separate container at room temperature. Drizzle on the dressing just before serving. 

Nutrition

Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 29g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 205mg | Sodium: 527mg | Potassium: 494mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 917IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords.spring, stove top, summer
Did You Make This Recipe?Be sure to share a comment below!

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3 Comments

  1. This sounds delicious! I am definitely going to try it–all my favorite things–strawberries and blue cheese! I hope you enjoyed No Farm No Foul!

    1. Thank you, Peg! And, thanks for stopping by. I did enjoy the book…a little romantic cliff hanger there! Guess I’ll just have to read the next one! 😉