Gigi's Arugula Salad
Arugula (or Rocket) is a spring and fall green. It thrives in cool, brisk weather and it is easy to grow. It is not uncommon for me to add some arugula seeds to a pot of dirt in early spring or Labor Day weekend. I would plant arugula directly into the ground but bunnies love it as much as I do.
I have always dressed arugula simply with olive oil and lemon juice but I have been introduced to a new way to serve arugula. An innovative young lady I know discovered this salad at a restaurant and she re-created it at home. Very easy. Lots of flavor. (Thank you Gigi!)
I used baby arugula for this recipe but regular arugula will work just as well.
- Baby arugula - 5 oz.
- Butter - Pan smear
- Almonds - 1/2 cup, slivered and toasted
- Dried fruit - 3/4 cup, golden raisins (or combo of cherries, blueberries, cranberries, & raisins)
- Parmesan cheese - 1 cup, freshly shredded or shaved
- Lemon juice - 1/4 cup, fresh (1 small or 1/2 large lemon)
- Extra virgin olive oil - 2 teaspoons
- Pepper - 2-3 grinds, freshly ground
- Rinse and dry arugula, place in large bowl.
- Smear (very) small amount of butter in sauce pan. Add slivered almonds and toast over medium heat until edges are tinged brown.
- Add dried fruit and almonds to arugula.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice.
- Give the salad a couple of grinds of fresh black pepper, add freshly shredded Parmesan* cheese, lightly toss. Serve immediately.
*Parmesan cheese: There is a dramatic taste difference between Parmigiano Reggiano and pre-shredded Parmesan cheese. I know, at once managed a Parmesan cheese plant. Here is why I don't buy pre-shredded (very often): 1. In order to (commercially) shred cheese, it can't be aged long. Aged Parmesan can be very crumbly and the shred would just break apart. Real Parmegiano has been aged years, not months. The longer it is aged the more complex the flavor. 2. Once it is shredded it loses flavor notes quickly because of increased surface area. 3. And, there are often added ingredients to pre-shredded cheese that I do not want in my food; a "flow-agent" to prevent the shreds from sticking together and an agent to prevent molding.