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  • 16 ounces strawberries halved (and hulled if you wish!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper plus more for topping
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 8 ounces ziti pasta
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 seedless cucumber thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano


1. Place the strawberries in a large bowl and pour the balsamic vinegar over top. Sprinkle on the black pepper and toss the strawberries well. I like to toss them every few minutes while prepping the rest of the salad.

2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions.

3. While the pasta is boiling, pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar into a smaller bowl from the big bowl of strawberries. Whisk in the honey, dijon mustard, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stream in the olive oil while whisking until the dressing is combined.

4. Place the fresh spinach on top of the strawberries in the bowl. As soon as the pasta is finished, drain it and place it on top of the spinach. Drizzle on a few tablespoons of the dressing so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Let the pasta sit, untossed, on top of the spinach so it wilts – about 5 minutes.

5. Toss the pasta with the spinach and the strawberries until it is combined. Add in the cucumber and the goat cheese. Sprinkle on some extra black pepper. Toss with more dressing (I like to keep adding some spoonfuls and then tasting, leaving a bit on the side to spoon on.) Top with the herbs and serve!

Ingredients available the Oakmont Farmer’s Market 6/17:

-Strawberries and cucumbers are available from Blueberry Hill Farm

-Honey is available from New-Bee Ranch

-Goat cheese is available from Amazing Acres