Monday, July 8, 2013

Arugula-Raspberry Salad with Walnuts

Salad days are here.  We have so many good things from our little garden, and we planted lots of is arugula.  For one thing, I love arugula year-round.  I love to try the different varieties, and I've become a bit of an arugula snob.  You can be one too if you live in the Northwest because this is a green made for the area because thrives through our sometimes brutal cool spring days.

A spicy green with lots of nutrients, arugula can can shoot up and bolt (flower).  The leaves turn become more bold, some even say too spicy, but I love the flowers and don't mind the leaves when it flowers.  People sometime shun kale, collard, chive and arugula blossoms in this country, but they have intense flavors and they make salads more fun. Arugula comes in different varieties for the garden. My favorite comes from Frank Morton at Wild Garden Seed.

You can buy arugula at the farmers' market, but it can be pricey (but worth the money). 

Or you can grow your own, at least you can in the Northwest. I don't know about Arizona.  I find so many greens do well in containers, and it's easier for a non-gardening type to maintain. I look for these containers at thrift stores and garage sales.  This is an old metal wash tub. We drilled holes in the bottom and plant greens in it every spring. 

We don't have a huge garden,  and we've got plenty of greens spring through fall, and some kale, collards and arugula go through the winter.  

My Cooking Assistant is easily impressed.

He'll eat anything from the garden, where he does not have free access for obvious reasons.

If you've got the grill on, throw a few zucchini steaks on. I basted these with balsamic vinegar, garlic and olive oil.   One can never have too much summer squash.   These are great in sandwiches the next day.

I got lazy when it came to the marinade, so I made an Italian vinaigrette, and then pureed a half cup of raspberries into the mix.  It's got a sweet tart tang that goes with arugula.

I saw a recipe similar to this one with pomegranates and walnuts.  So something tart and colorful like raspberries would do.  I like the red on green and the peppery flavor of arugula, the tang of raspberries and the crunch of toasted walnuts.  It's okay to be lazy when making a fruit vinaigrette, after all this is summer, why not enjoy the best of it?

Arugula-Raspberry Salad with Walnuts
(Serves 4)
This salad would also be good with dried sour cherries when raspberries aren't in season.
1/4 cup prepared Italian low-fat vinaigrette
1/2 cup raspberries 
4 cups torn arugula
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 cup raspberries 
1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts

1. Combine vinaigrette and raspberries.  Puree and strain if you don't want any seeds.

2. Place arugula, raspberries and kalamata olives in a salad bowl.  Pour vinaigrette over ingredients and gently toss.  Top with toasted walnuts.

My Cooking Assistant plans on taking every opportunity offered.


Miz Helen said...

Hi Debra,
What a great combination for a summer salad. Hope you are having a great summer weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

Thanks for stopping by Miz Helen! The summer appears to be speeding by in the Northwest. Seems we barely get started and it starts cooling down for fall. I love arugula year round.