Salads are kind of my thing. Seriously. I could literally eat salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I actually do on some lucky days. I don’t know if it’s the insanely delicious mix of textures – crisp greens, creamy cheese and the crunchy fruit, veg, or nut of your choice – but salads check all the flavor boxes for me and I love it.
This arugula salad is the perfect blend of flavors — salty blue cheese, sweet caramelized pecans, crunchy apples, a tart lemony vinaigrette and my favorite salad green (at least this week), arugula. Its peppery bite is a standout in a world of bland salad greens. (I’m looking at you, iceberg.)
While I absolutely adore this salad just as it is, it allows lots of opportunities for substitutions or alterations. I love arugula, but if you prefer a milder green a spring mix or green leaf lettuce will do the trick. No apples on hand? Not to worry, grab a pear or thinly slice a peach or nectarine instead.
The one thing I won’t replace, no matter what are the caramelized nuts. Pecans are my favorite nut for just about anything, but swapping them out for caramelized walnuts is just as delicious. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to whip up a batch of caramelized nuts! Make a batch and store them in an airtight container. They’re a tasty addition to salad and you can also add them to a cheeseboard, or just enjoy them as a snack. If you like a little spice in your caramelized nut game, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper into the pan with the brown sugar and vinegar.
Next time you get a hankering for an out of this world salad, add this one to your rotation. I promise it won’t disappoint!
Rinse arugula in cold water then pat or spin until completely dry to avoid soggy salad syndrome!
Slice the apples just before serving your salad to keep them from oxidizing (turning brown).
Making a vinaigrette