Wilted Arugula Salad

Can we just talk about how much I love arugula?  SO much. Can we also talk about how excited I was to get a bag of arugula with my CSA share last week? Even more. Happy, happy, happy.

For once I decided to forgo the sun-dried tomatoes and white beans I usually eat with arugula.  Instead I wanted a warm salad–something with lentils and a balsamic vinaigrette.

We haven’t tried a warm lentil salad at home, but I’ve had them at restaurants before.  So good.  Hearty and very healthy.  I’m getting low on a lot of my pantry staples, including lentils, so I decided to try out the mung beans I bought last year and still hadn’t gotten around to sprouting or using.  They were a great substitute for the lentils.  If you don’t have mung beans on hand, or if they aren’t your thing, by all means use lentils.  I also think substituting a whole grain, such as barley, wild rice, quinoa or wheat berries, would be great too.

I think this would be a great thing to take on a little picnic or on the road for a tasty lunch.  It’s really good at room temperature, and the arugula holds up and doesn’t wilt too much.  Anyway, it’s good.  You’ll just have to try it and see.

Wilted Arugula Salad
original recipe

Ingredients:

For salad:
a few teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion (or 1 small), cut into 1/2″ dice
1 carrot, peeled, cut into thirds and thinly sliced lenthwise
1 cup cooked mung beans (or French lentils)
3-4 cups arugula
a little water
salt and pepper
pinch sugar
fresh or dried thyme, to taste
garnish:  fresh green onions, thinly sliced

For vinaigrette:
2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. agave or sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Instructions:

For salad:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the diced onions, season with salt and pepper,  and cook until they soften and turn golden.  Add the sliced carrots and a little water.  Cover and lower heat.  Cook until carrots are just tender.  Add the beans or lentils and a little more water.  Continue cooking for about 5 more minutes.  Add a little more water as necessary, careful not to let the pan cook dry.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.  Remove pan from heat and add the vinaigrette.  Stir well.  Add the arugula and toss with tongs.  Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle with the green onions and serve.

For vinaigrette:
Whisk all ingredients together.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.  Set aside until ready to use.

Makes enough for 2 as a main dish, and 4 as a side.

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