Today we’re talking about oil and vinegar.

And how it can take your salad from blah to extraordinary!

Strawberry Salad 2

So last weekend I had lunch with one of my best friends, Erin. We’ve known each other since high school. She’s actually getting married this June, so whenever we get together our conversations are mostly about super exciting wedding things! I offered to throw her a bridal shower, which is next month. I’ve been Pinteresting away and I will definitely do a post about her bridal shower food and decor!

Anyway, we ate at this little restaurant called Cafe Express– where I had a large coffee plus an out of this world chicken spinach salad with walnuts and goat cheese. I knew I wanted to recreate this salad for my work lunch. After we ate, we walked around the shops and stopped at one of my favorite stores, Oil & Vinegar. Let me tell you– this is a store for a foodie. I could spend hours in there. (Note: this is not a sponsored post, I just love the store!)

The store is FULL of flavor-infused oils– garlic, lemon, orange, Italian spice, chili infused olive oil, grapeseed, avocado, truffle, and walnut oil. There is also a full selection of flavor infused vinegars, which are my personal fav. Raspberry, strawberry, champagne, peach, blackberry, lavender, elderflower, hibiscus, mango, pomegranate, it’s seriously endless. 

Create your own

One of the ladies who was working that day shared with me the secret for a perfect salad dressing: two parts vinegar, one part oil, plus salt and pepper. Some of their flavored vinegars are so tasty that you barely need any S&P.  I bought a big bottle of walnut oil, and a small one of raspberry vinegar.

Walnut oil has a rich, nutty flavor that is perfect for salad dressings. You can also use it to flavor fish, steaks, or toss with pasta. It’s best used uncooked or in cold sauces, because when it’s heated, it becomes slightly bitter. Of all the varieties of nuts, walnuts have the highest concentration of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid.

Walnuts and walnut oil are also rich in antioxidants, and can have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. The best thing about omega-3’s are that they significantly reduce your risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer! 

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I chose raspberry vinegar to go with my walnut oil, because raspberries and walnuts go so well together for some reason. You could also use strawberry vinegar, peach, champagne. The nuttiness of the walnut oil just tastes great with any type of fruity vinegar.

For one big bowl of salad, I used 2 teaspoons of raspberry vinegar + 1 teaspoon of walnut oil + a few cranks of sea salt and fresh black pepper.

Strawberry Salad 1


Who says meatfree cant be delicious? Today I’ve linked up with Confessions of a Mother Runner and Tina Muir for #MeatlessMonday!

Spinach Salad with Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette
Serves 1
  1. 2-3 cups baby spinach
  2. 1 cup sliced strawberries
  3. 1/2 cup blueberries
  4. 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  5. 1/4 cup unsalted walnuts, chopped
  6. 1/4 cup chickpeas
For the dressing
  1. 2 teaspoons raspberry vinegar
  2. 1 teaspoon walnut oil
  3. salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and mix well.
Zen & Spice
 What are your favorite flavored vinegars & oils?


  1. That sounds delicious and the photos are amazing! definitely need to go find some walnut oil because i’m always down to try new salad dressing recipes :)

    1. Thanks! :) Yes, you need to try walnut oil. The taste is so different than olive oil, great for variety!

  2. oh that looks so summery and delicious! Thanks for linking up with us today.

    1. thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. Yummy Emily! This makes me think of warm summer days sitting outside with friends, and that sounds amazing right about now. Thanks so much for linking up with us :) Hope you have a wonderful week! Hope you join us again next week!

    1. Thanks, Tina! I love #meatlessmonday link ups! :)

  4. I LOVE salads like this! Seriously makes me think summer is on the way.

    1. It is definitely a bright summery salad! :)

  5. This looks amazing! A perfect salad for the summer days ahead! Great photos!

    1. Thanks, Melanie!

  6. So delicious! I just had a salad like this, but without chickpeas! I never thought to add them for some extra protein but I bet it tastes delicious! I can’t wait to try it!

    1. I love adding chickpeas to salads. Adds a great source of complex carbs + protein + fiber! :) Try it next time!

  7. I’ve been inside oil stores with amazing varieties of oil like walnut, avocado, and so many more! I keep meaning to try walnut oil but have yet to buy myself some. This salad screams spring- I love it!

    1. You’ve got to try it! It’ll open a whole new world of salad dressings for you!

  8. This looks and sounds delicious! It looks like the perfect spring/summer salad! <3!

  9. I have purchased flavored olive oils/vinegars before – the one I have currently is a white peach balsamic and I love it! Used it last night in a quick kale salad. So easy to mix it up!

  10. I recently purchased a pomegranate vinaigrette from a local shop and it has become my go-to salad dressing. Sometimes I don’t even mix it with oil because it’s already pretty thick. Your salad looks great!

  11. […] Try: Spinach Salad with Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette […]

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