This Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Preserves Balsamic Dressing is delicious for springtime entertaining. Yummy to add chicken, too!

Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Preserves Balsamic Dressing

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I recently saw this somewhere, and it stuck in my mind: Your kitchen is your canvas … make something of it.

Sometimes I get into a funk with my kitchen, because we’re a busy household and it can get cluttery – fast! I hate cooking in clutter, and since the kitchen is the most popular room in our house, it’s very lived in.

Your kitchen is a canvas.

Today I’m sharing a few tips that have helped me regain my love for the kitchen and desire to cook more meals, and create a sanctuary for me and my family. I do love the thought of my kitchen being a beautiful, big canvas, with so much opportunity and ways to spread love to others with food!

Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Preserves Balsamic Dressing

So why not make it pretty? We were recently up in Seattle and I bought a couple things at World Market and {one} splurge at Anthropologie (those pretty salad servers).

Love your Kitchen

Kitchens are to be lived in, not always perfectly clean, but a few things help inspire me with cooking and being there.

Get your kitchen mojo back:

Tidy and clean inspires me. Put the junk away, make clean space, make it easy. I bought a cute spoon rest at World Market, because I realized I didn’t have one! (I know, who doesn’t have a spoon rest?)

Buy a couple fresh new things. Dish towels, a new candle burning, flowers, things that inspire and make the kitchen lovely.

Freshen the table. Pull out a runner you have stored away or something that makes the table a happy place to bring the food over to! Change it up with seasonal colors!

Clean as you go. Do this (if you can), so after dinner, you (or family member) can slip those dishes right into the d/w, wipe the counters, and walk away!

One splurge. Each season, splurge on one item that you love! (For me? the Anthropologie salad servers! I know I’ll get a lot of use out of these.)

Happy place. We want our kitchens to be a happy place filled with delicious tastes and memories! [Thus, this recipe today!]

One-pot meals. If you can, keep one of your favorite pots on the stove. A reminder that one-pot meals are easy, doable, and healthy for the family.

The smell of dinner cooking. In the 1950’s, it was said that if you’re late getting dinner started and the husband is due home soon, get an onion sauteeing on the stove to get the house smelling like dinner! I like that!

Love your Kitchen

Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Preserves Balsamic Dressing.

Once I got my kitchen in order, this past weekend (so sunny in Oregon) I made a delcious Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Preserves Balsamic Dressing for dinner.

Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Preserves Balsamic Dressing

The dressing … drizzle it on lightly!

Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Preserves Balsamic Dressing

More about the delicious dressing:

1. Take the time and make it, and chill before dressing the salad.
2. You can use any kind of preserves! I used peach.
3. Don’t add too much dressing to the salad. This recipe is enough for 3-4 large salads (makes about 1 1/2 cups).

Enjoy – and be inspired!

What one tip can you share that helps you regain love for your kitchen?

Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Preserves Balsamic Dressing

Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Preserves Balsamic Dressing
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Get the Recipe:

Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Preserves Balsamic Dressing

Dressing recipe makes enough for several salads (1 1/2 cups). Use your favorite preserve in the dressing! Chicken is optional!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 8-10 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped (I use Rotisserie)
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 2 green onion, chopped
  • 1 cup English cucumber, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 cup pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup preserves, I used peach, but strawberry or raspberry is delicious, too
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup canola or olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar, shallots, and sugar to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Add the preserves and cook 1 more minute.
  • Transfer the mixture to a blender; add the oil and red wine vinegar and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Chill.
  • Place the spinach on a large platter or in a large salad bowl. Add the chicken, strawberries, green onion, cucumber, and pistachio nuts. Drizzle the dressing; toss and serve. You can also plate the salad and then drizzle the dressing on to individiual servings.
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Other Strawberry Salad Recipes:

Strawberry Cobb Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry Watermelon Cashew Green Salad

Strawberry Watermelon Chicken Salad with Basil Dressing

Strawberry Quinoa Salad

Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Preserves Balsamic Dressing