Summer Fresh Strawberry Salad with Mint Poppy Seed Dressing

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 3 votes

This fresh and vibrant strawberry salad features crunchy and silky butter lettuce, chopped pistachios, creamy avocado, and lemony mint poppy seed dressing. Ready in 20 minutes!

An overhead shows a plated strawberry salad with torn butter lettuce, chopped pistachios, diced avocado, mint leaves, and lemony mint poppy seed dressing. Wooden salad tongs are sticking out of the salad.

Ready within 20 minutes, this fresh strawberry salad with crisp and substantial butter lettuce is the perfect crowd pleasing summer salad. It’s made with simple 100% vegan ingredients, like juicy sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, and salty chopped pistachios. No cooking, no problems with this healthy and easy recipe! Filled with fresh flavours and plenty of fruit and veg to keep things light and bright for warmer days. The poppy seed dressing recipe here goes beyond basic with fresh additions of lemon and mint with a touch of maple syrup to sweeten naturally. I know you’re gonna love this summer salad!

An overhead shot shows a plated strawberry salad with torn butter lettuce, chopped pistachios, diced avocado, mint leaves, and lemony mint poppy seed dressing.
An overhead shot shows ingredients for a strawberry salad with butter lettuce, lemon mint poppy seed dressing, pistachios, and avocado.

I adore a classic, easy strawberry salad with slightly sweet poppy seed dressing. Over the years though, I’ve found that I prefer a more sturdy and crunchy lettuce to the typical baby spinach. The version I’ve been perfecting here features butter lettuce, also known as Boston, Bibb, Butterhead or butter crunch. The mild flavour and crisp texture are delicious foil to the sweet-tart strawberries.

The dressing is not super typical either! We keep the sweetness and poppy seeds, but also add fresh lemon juice and fresh mint. I blend up the dressing in stages so that I get pretty little flecks of mint throughout. Once the poppy seeds are stirred in at the end, the sweet, tart, and cool/fresh qualities are a wildly tasty combination with this strawberry avocado salad. Don’t forget some extra fresh mint on top of the finished dish!

To cut strawberries for salad, I just remove the leafy top part, flip the flat edge onto the cutting board, and then begin to cut nice slices. Simple! This is the same way I’d cut them for a summer fruit salad. You can slice the strawberries up to 2 hours ahead of time for assembling this dish. Just keep them in a sealed container in the fridge.

Hope you love the symphony of flavours here! A perfect bite has sweet strawberry and maple, crunchy but still silky lettuce, tart lemon, cool mint, lush avocado, and salty-nutty pistachios. Heaven on earth in the summertime alongside your favourite grilled proteins :)

An overhead shot shows a bowl of butter lettuce leaves.
An overheard shot shows strawberries being hulled and sliced on a cutting board.
An overhead shows a plated strawberry salad with torn butter lettuce, chopped pistachios, diced avocado, mint leaves, and lemony mint poppy seed dressing. Wooden salad tongs are sticking out of the salad.
AN up close overhead shot shows a strawberry salad with torn butter lettuce, chopped pistachios, diced avocado, mint leaves, and lemony mint poppy seed dressing. The photo is taken in direct sunlight.

Summer Fresh Strawberry Salad with Mint Poppy Seed Dressing

This fresh and vibrant strawberry salad features crunchy and silky butter lettuce, chopped pistachios, creamy avocado, and lemony mint poppy seed dressing. Ready in 20 minutes!
5 from 3 votes
An overhead shows a plated strawberry salad with torn butter lettuce, chopped pistachios, diced avocado, mint leaves, and lemony mint poppy seed dressing. Wooden salad tongs are sticking out of the salad.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons champagne/white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup/agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Salad

  • 8-10 oz butter lettuce (also known as Bibb, Boston or butter Crunch)
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup shelled salted pistachios, chopped
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and diced

Equipment

Notes

  • You could top this salad with toasted sunflower seeds to keep it completely nut-free.
  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce contains wheat. To make this gluten-free, simply substitute the same amount of Tamari.
  • I used 3 small heads of butter lettuce here.
  • If there’s a vegan feta that you love, a couple handfuls of it crumbled on top would be excellent!

Instructions

  • Make the dressing. In an upright blender, combine the lemon juice, champagne vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon, shallot, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Blend on high until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Add the mint leaves and blend slowly until the mint appears finely minced in the dressing. Pour the dressing into a measuring cup/jar and stir in the poppy seeds. Set aside.
  • Remove the cores of the butter lettuce and chop/tear into bite sized pieces. Place the lettuce in a large serving bowl. Add the strawberries, mint, and half of the pistachios. Season with salt and pepper and pour on half of the dressing. Toss to combine. Top the salad with avocado, chopped pistachios, and drizzle the remaining dressing (or as much as you’d like). Enjoy immediately.
A 3/4 angle image shows a plated strawberry salad with torn butter lettuce, chopped pistachios, diced avocado, mint leaves, and lemony mint poppy seed dressing. A checked linen napkin is nearby.
15/05/2024
Posted in: creamy, gluten free option, grain-free, quick, salad, salty, sauce, side dish, sour, spring, summer, sweet, vegan

6 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Barbara A. Lund

    try it!

  • Jessie

    5 stars
    This was so good! I wanted to drink the salad dressing.

  • Caroline

    5 stars
    Like readers below, I also got this recipe right as my CSA gave us some yummy butter lettuce. I made the dressing as instructed but subbed some ripe alfalfa mango for the strawberries as my Whole Foods had them on sale and I couldn’t help myself.

    I looked forward to eating the salad all day and it did not disappoint!

    Your recipes are so well written that I even trust my husband to make them without me haha

    • Laura Wright

      I loooove the idea of doing this salad up with mango!! Thanks for this kind comment and review, Caroline! ;)
      -L

  • deb

    5 stars
    This recipe dropped right as strawberries and butter lettuce showed up in my CSA (already had a ripe avocado on deck, miracle of miracles), so thank you for helping me manage my tender produce! I’d give this 6 stars if I could because ordinarily poppy seed dressings with berries are cloying and one-note, but this blended shallot situation is what’s up. Thanks for a timely recipe that is a long-term keeper. xo

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Deb!
      Thanks for this comment and review. So glad that the strawberry salad was a timely success for you! :)
      -L