Last weekend, I had a bit of a “salad fail.” In the spirit of creativity in the kitchen, for a dinner gathering of friends, I conjured up quite a project: grilled nectarines, crispy bacon, chopped queso fresco, walnuts and a balsamic dressing. Honestly, it was kind of a mess. The elements didn’t quite come together as I had hoped. (Lesson learned – queso fresco is much better in empanadas than in salads.)
The following night, for a simple family dinner, I threw together one of my favorite salads of all time – this salad of peppery baby arugula, shaved parmesan, and a handful of walnuts. I tossed it with a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing. Virtually effortless and absolutely perfect. Now THIS is what I should have served my friends on Saturday night. We discovered this salad years ago when posted in London, where for some wacky reason they call arugula “rocket.” (I never did work out why, but loved this rocket salad all the same.)
I’ve come to the conclusion that my blog recipes don’t necessarily always need to be wildly creative and unique. While I do enjoy that challenge, I’d also like to also share my go-to recipes, even if they’re breathtakingly simple. This falls squarely into that category.
Add this simple, elegant little salad to your repertoire, my friends. It’s a House Morell classic for good reason.
Arugula Salad with Parmesan and Walnuts
Serves: 4 as a side
- 4 cups baby arugula, arugula (or I have used baby kale here too, which is not as peppery, but works nicely)
- ½ cup shaved parmesean (you may add more to taste, I won't tell)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (this will be about 2 lemons)
- ½ cup good olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a small mason jar, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Shake until well combined.
- Spread the arugula, shaved parmesan and walnuts onto a platter. Toss with dressing to taste (I like a light coating of dressing, so usually use about half of the dressing and save the rest for the next time I make the salad.)