Do you remember that moment at the elementary school lunch table when you felt someone else’s lunch was cooler than yours? I’m sure we all still have these moments from time to time – at least I do – and arugula caused one of those moments.
I was first introduced to the arugula salad when I saw a friend at work eating one almost every day for lunch. She kept a bag of arugula, an assortment of other vegetables, nuts, cheese, etc, at the office, and would fix her salad daily and it looked amazing! I needed that salad immediately even though I’d never actually had that much arugula in one sitting.
Arugula, is an Italian green that is usually tucked away in “spring mix” salads or used to garnish savory dishes thanks to it’s deliciously peppery flavor. I think this can make it a bit scary for some to use as the sole green in a salad, but it’s not as strong as you’d imagine and the flavor is incredible. I think I raved about my awesome salads to the Godfather for a solid three months until he came home from his last deployment. He gave me fantastic incredulous looks when I raved about the greatness of arugula until he tried it. Now he always picks up arugula at the store and farmer’s markets when it’s available for salads, and he isn’t what one would consider a “salad” person.
When I need a quick and easy side for a meal, or a healthy lunch, this is my “go to” salad. The exact contents vary depending on what I have at hand, but the below components are included almost year-round with little variation. A little sour from the lemon, a little crunch with the nuts, some creaminess from the cheese, occasionally some dried cranberries… it’s perfect for layering flavors and textures to your liking without measuring (because I don’t measure this usually). So read the directions once, adjust to suit your tastes, and then never measure again!
A “real life” note… there is no cheese in this salad, but it is listed in the recipe. I didn’t add cheese because we didn’t have any left in our temporary housing, and since we were about to embark on the second leg of our journey, I was not going to purchase more. This salad, it’s about improvisation. Enjoy! 😉
- 3 cups arugula
- ½ hass avocado
- ⅓ cup pine nuts (or other nut of choice)
- ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (or other cheese of choice)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt to taste
- Place arugula in a medium mixing bowl
- In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and a tiny pinch of salt
- Toss the dressing and arugula together, then add the nuts, avocado, cheese, and any other vegetables you'd like. Mix briefly to combine. Serve immediately
- **Optional: Top salad with chicken, beef, tofu, seitan, or shrimp to make it a main dish.