With the month of June in full swing, it’s only appropriate to try a delicious salad that combines the textures and flavors of summer. This arugula salad is best served on a platter and pre-tossed in the vinaigrette just moments before eating. The sweetness of the honey pairs nicely with the bitter green and the grapefruit. This salad will be a hit this season, for sure.
|Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2015|
Arugula Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 cups washed baby arugula
½ red onion, sliced
½ cup pine nuts, toasted*
½ cup fried onion straws (I used French’s)
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1 very large beet (or 2-3 small beets), roasted and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 small pink grapefruit, cut into wedges without white membrane
3 tbs. balsamic vinegar
½ olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbs. honey
1 tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. plus salt to taste
*To roast pine nuts, you can place them in a dry sauté pan on medium high heat. You must watch them carefully, as they burn quickly. If you prefer the microwave, Alton Brown offers directions at this link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/microwave-toasted-pine-nuts-recipe.html
To make the vinaigrette, place the vinegar, ½ teaspoon of salt (you can always add more later to suit your taste), black pepper, and garlic in a mason jar. Use a fork to blend the ingredients. Add the Dijon mustard and mix again with a fork. Add the olive oil and honey. Close the lid and shake vigorously until all ingredients are combined. Mustard acts as an emulsifier, so there shouldn’t be lots of separation. Store at room temperature until ready to dress the greens.
To make the salad, in a large glass mixing bowl, toss the arugula in some of the vinaigrette, starting with a ¼ cup only. Toss well, noticing how quickly the dressing can coat the greens. Add more vinaigrette, if desired. How much dressing is up to you, but remember that salad can become over-saturated very quickly.
Place the greens on a large platter. Toss the beets in a small amount of the leftover vinaigrette, then save the rest for another time. Sprinkle beets and all remaining salad ingredients over the greens. Serve immediately.