We’re now fully ensconced in the time of year when refreshing foods are so appealing. Hot soups and stews, my winter staples, are just not appetizing now. Raw foods, especially dinner salads, feel great.
While I didn’t grow arugula this year in my garden, there are plenty of great options for buying fresh, organic arugula. Ranui Gardens is a mainstay organic grower here in Utah. They’ve been around for decades and are one of the original denizens of the 27-year-old Downtown Farmers Market here. So if I don’t have arugula in my garden—or if my arugula has suddenly bolted as it is wont to do—Ranui is my favorite supplier.
Arugula doesn’t appeal to everyone. It’s peppery, slightly bitter taste is robust, perhaps too robust for some. I like it in a simple arugula salad that features its unique flavor, but it’s also great when accompanied by complementary flavors.
Today’s salad is a meal in a salad bowl. It combines arugula with sweet, pungent and mild flavors. The grapes make a fantastic foil, while the walnuts, avocados and goat cheese add heft. The dressing brings all the flavors together. I found it on the Gimme Some Oven website. I found the recipe to be well-balanced. My only suggestion is add the dressing to the salad judiciously. My salad only needed about 2/3 the amount of dressing suggested.
Meatless Monday: Arugula Salad with Grapes
- 6 cups fresh arugula, loosely packed
- 2 cups halved seedless grapes, red or green or a mix
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
- half a small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- balsamic vinaigrette (ingredients below)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or traditional balsamic vinegar)
- 2 Tablespoons honey or agave nectar, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
Put It Together:
Add salad ingredients to a bowl, and drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Make the Vinaigrette:
Put all ingredients in a small jar, cover with a lid and shake vigorously.