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What goes well in an arugula salad? (And, what I tried that was great.)

I love arugula, and have figured out that it goes nicely with thinly shredded parmesan, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon. What else do you like in an arugula salad that's meant to be a light meal in itself?

This is what I tried tonight that was really good:

1. Arugula
2. Salt & pepper
3. Marianna215's vinaigrette, recommended here (sans the vinegar):
4. White beans from white-bean-and-fennel-soup here:
5. Grape tomatoes, sliced
6. Fennel bulb, chopped/sliced
7. Walnuts, broken, toasted in pan, first dusted with homemade curry powder linked here:
8. Flaked/shredded good parmesan

I put all that in a bag and shook it, then ate everything but the bag. It was really nice. I'll probably never have that confluence of foods in my kitchen again (just kind of threw the salad together with what was here), but this one really worked out.

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  1. Try adding something sweet as it will compliment the peppery quality of the arugula- I like dried cranberries or cherries and sometimes fresh blueberries or strawberries. I also like sunflower seeds in my salad.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JAC13

      I was going to suggest golden raisins!

    2. Sliced pears, a bit of feather-cut red onion, torn mint, pasta if you want the salad to be the main. I use thin slices/peels of parmagiano-reggiano (sp.?).

      I dress everything but the arugula and/or other greens; lightly mix all just before plating and serving. Keeps the greens in better form.

      1. During the spinach avoiding phase last year we were making one with sliced mushrooms, cucumber, artichokes, sliced egg, and avocado that customers loved. It had a creamy dressing.


        1. The best arugula salad I ever had was one from the 12th Street Grill in Brooklyn. It was a great combination of peppery greens, sweet red grapes, salty/creamy crumbled gorgonzola, and crunchy toasted pecans all in a lemony vinaigrette. YUM! I worked hard to re-produce it in my own home and it remains one of the best salads ever to eat.

          1. I have had luck with Prosciutto di Parma and shaved parmesan with balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Great salad.

            Also did a raspberry reduction dressing (reduced storebought raspberry dressing and added some fresh raspberries after it cooled) with crumbled goat cheese....dressing should be slightly warm to melt the goat cheese....also with walnuts.

            1. The best Arugula Salad I ever had was at a trattoria in Florence. Baby Arugula dressed simply with an excellent Tuscan EVOO, S&P, a drop of Balsamic vinegar, Parmesan Tuiles, and a sprinkling of pine Nuts. Simple, authentic, and delicious.

              1. I really like roasted red peppers in my arugala salad, and I dress the salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

                1. I had a great salad meal,once from leftovers in my fridge: arugula, pesto chicken breast, sliced oranges and avocado.
                  A really nice simple dressing is just olive oil, lemon juice & honey (lemon tree honey if you have it!).

                  1. I'm not fond of the sweetness Americans like so much in salads. I do have a pretty good American recipe for arugula, walnut, tomato, garlic, and lentil salad. I don't use bottled salad dressings, always make vinaigrette with mustard, garlic, olive oil, sherry vinegar. Roquette rocks!

                    1. While not really a salad, one of our favorite dishes in Italy is grilled steak with arugula, olive oil and strawberries. The bitterness of the arugula together with the sweetness of the strawberries with the steak and olive oil is awesome!

                      1. Use pecorino instead of parmesan. It has more of a bite than parm that compliments arugula nicely. I usually just use balsamic and olive oil, but honey is a perfect match for arugula and pecorino.

                        1. I make mine very simply. Some toasted pignoli nuts, a bit of goat cheese and sometimes artichoke hearts. Dressed with a drizzle of good olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Simple and fresh.

                          1. I usually make this salad with watercress, but I can't see why arugula wouldn't be just as good. Toss in orange segments and very thinly sliced red onions and drizzle with a dijon mustard vinaigrette dressing that includes some cumin.

                            1. i like arugula with thin-sliced red cabbage, thin-sliced red onion, crumbled feta & toasted peptitas. some fresh figs make a nice addition to this, also. use a simple vinaigrette made from o.oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, S&P.

                              1. A few slices of grilled flank steak on the top. One of my favorite flavor combos is steak and arugula.

                                If I'm just doing a side salad, I like currant, toasted pine nuts, and parmesan with a sherry vinagrette.

                                1. I'm partial to roasted beets, crumbled goat cheese (or a few thin slices of Bucheron), and slivered almonds with a light lemon or tart grapefruit viniagrette- sometimes with truffle oil.

                                  Bluecheese, tart dried cherries, and slivered almonds with a walnut vin would be a close second.

                                  1. Arugula with chopped dried apricots, pine nuts, and a balsamic dressing makes a fantastic salad. Goat cheese is a nice addition to make the salad a little more substantial. Yum!

                                    1. I make this almost weekly, it is relatively light, a meal in itself, ridiculously easy and tastes so good. It is an adaptation of my own from a recipe my Rick Rodgers.

                                      STEAK AND ARUGULA SALAD

                                      Olive oil
                                      Balsamic vinegar
                                      3 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
                                      1 shallot, chopped
                                      1 lemon
                                      Shaved Parmesan (Reggiano is best)
                                      1 1/2 lbs flank steak (just get a normal strip of flank steak where you purchase your meats)
                                      Salt and Pepper

                                      - Season the steak liberally with salt, pepper and fresh thyme leaves. Let sit for an hour or so, if you have the time. If not, dive in.
                                      - In a bowl, whisk the shallots and garlic with 3 T balsamic. Add salt and pepper to taste and the juice of one lemon, whisking again. Add 1/2 cup olive oil and whisk.
                                      - Arrange arugula on plates on which you will serve the salad.
                                      - Heat a couple of glugs of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Place the steak in the skillet and cook until it is well browned, about 6 minutes. (The recipe is for medium rare.) Turn over and cook the other side another six minutes. Remove to a carving board.
                                      - Pour vinaigrette into the skillet and whisk again, over the heat, getting all the browned bits and juices from the bottom mixed in. Remove from heat before it reduces or the garlic begins to brown.
                                      - Slice flank steak into thin slices across the grain. Place steak slices on top of the arugula.
                                      - Whisk any meat juices from carving board into the vinaigrette and pour vinaigrette over the salad. Add parmesan shavings and serve.

                                      This can serve 2-4, depending on how much steak you want each person to have. You can also easily double the recipe, with 2 flank steaks, just cook them side by side or one at a time and double the amount of vinaigrette.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Tom P

                                        Thanks for the recipe! (And everybody else, thanks for your suggestions. A lot of this stuff is going on my shopping list.)

                                      2. Arugula, sliced peaches, toasted nuts (any will do), sliced water chestnuts, sesame-ginger dressing.

                                        Arugula, roasted beets, sunflower sprouts, crumbled goat or bleu cheese, citrus vinaigrette.

                                        Arugula, roasted chestnuts, cubed roasted butternut squash, red onions, balsamic vinaigrette.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. I like arugula dressed with lemon and EVOO and then piled on top of focaccia or flatbread or white pizza. Lovely contrast, nice summer lunch with a little protein on the side.