Sunday, May 6, 2012

Arugula Salad

Here is a salad recipe that you need in your life right now. I should be working on a paper, but we all need a break sometime.  Hence this post and this delicious salad.

For me and most of the people I knew growing up, a salad at home meant some lettuce and chopped up veggies topped with your choice of the various bottled salad dressings sitting in the fridge. The convenience of bottled salad dressing is great, but I have been trying to get away from it for the past year.

Why no love for the bottled dressing? First of all, its expensive compared to making your own. Second of all, the ingredient list can be long and include things I'm not fond of eating, like "natural flavor." Organic dressing with only whole ingredients are available, but it just adds to the price. Plus, ever notice how expensive ingredients like olive oil and balsamic vinegar are watered down with either actual water, canola oil, or regular vinegar? Check the labels and you'll see what I mean.

The point is, its cheaper and probably healthier to make your own salad dressings. 

Of course, making your own dressing means not everyone gets to choose their favorite. But, I much prefer a salad lightly tossed with the dressing before it hits my plate. Stirring around your salad in a little bowl after pouring the dressing on top always leads to uneven coating or over dressing. Over dressing is a horrible sin.

I make a variety of dressings, but this salad and the dressing that goes with it is just unbelievably good.

The main ingredients you'll need are:
Parmesan Cheese
Pine nuts 
White Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil

Please click on over here for the full lowdown and instructions Arugula Salad.

However, I have some notes to make/suggestions. In the recipe the author states that the best ingredients are absolutely necessary. While of course it will taste better with better cheese and pine nuts are delicious, they are expensive. We have made this recipe with slivered almonds in place of the pine nuts and used a white salty cheese we had lying around instead of parmesan.  I think its the dressing that makes this recipe special, so feel free to use what you have.

But, on that note, please freshly grate your cheese! Do not use the parmesan shaker for this one. Pre-grated cheese and shaker cheese have weird ingredients like cardboard in them to make sure the cheese doesn't stick together. Just trust me and get out the cheese grater.

As far as white balsamic vinegar goes, I didn't know it existed until this recipe. We bought a bottle and have used it in other salad dressings as well. My sister said she made this recipe with dark balsamic vinegar and enjoyed it a lot, so you could give that a try.

I promise you will not regret it. Even arugula haters have enjoyed this salad. Oh and whatever you do be sure not to overdress it!

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