Thursday, February 10, 2011

Arugula and Orange Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Not that we do not like salads as a family; we really do; but I think we sometimes get tired of the same old weeknight dinner salad and need to shake it up a little.
Yes, we all need some variety in our salad portfolio, so that we eat our salads, not because we need to, but because we really want to...
This salad is a very good addition to your portfolio: Between the peppery baby arugula, the mildly sharp shallots, the sweet, juicy and refreshing orange, it needed a dry and nutty bite which came from the walnuts. As far as the dressing, you can never go wrong with balsamic vinegar anyway. The colors of this salad alone excite me...
Arugula - actually, any type of greens for salads - wilts down quite quickly after you toss them with dressing. So, preparing the dressing separately and adding it to the salad at the very last minute before serving always makes a huge difference as far as the presentation and the freshness.

Ingredients: (Serves 4-6)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 5 oz.-package baby arugula (about 150gr. or 8 cups)
  • 1-1 1/2 tablespoons shallot, finely sliced
  • 1 orange, segmented
  • 1-1 1/2 tablespoons walnuts, coarsely chopped

  • Put olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and orange juice (after you have segmented the orange, squeeze out the juice of the rest of the orange with your hands) into a jar or plastic container (with a lid). Close the lid very tightly, and shake vigorously.
  • In a salad bowl, combine baby arugula and shallots. Pour the dressing over it and toss. Scatter the walnuts and orange segments over the salad.

Additional points:

If you need to learn how to segment an orange, please see this link.
This one orange we segment for the salad gives us about 2 tablespoons orange juice, when squeezed after being segmented. You can choose to use only 1 tablespoon of that juice which is enough for the dressing; or, if you do not want to waste it, you can use the whole 2 tablespoons; it won't make a big shift in taste.

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