Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Arugula salad, two ways

I've been really into arugula and roasted veggie salad lately. I'm not sure exactly how it started, but I've come to believe that arugula tossed with roasted tomatoes and asparagus and some torn basil leaves is just about the best thing ever. Then tonight, I tried a new variation – arugula with roasted peppers, kalamata olives and lime-mint vinaigrette. Mmmmm, yum. Maybe it's the bitterness of the arugula combined with the sweetness of the roasted veg. Or maybe how the arugula is sturdy enough to not mind being wilted a bit by the warmth of the just-out-of-the-oven morsels. Whatever the source of its perfection, the result is delicious, healthy, and kind of elegant I think. I urge you to try it!

Arugula, Asparagus, and Tomato Salad
a few big handfuls of Arugula, washed and dried
one bunch asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off
two handfuls of cherry tomatoes, whole
Basil leaves, torn roughly into pieces
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place asparagus in a pan and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle on salt and pepper, toss to coat. Do the same thing with the whole tomatoes, in a separate pan, and put both in the oven to roast. The asparagus will take less time than the tomatoes – you want it to be just tender. The tomatoes should roast until they've puffed up and the skin is broken. But really, you can roast each just as long as you feel like.

Cool the roasted veggies a little bit, then toss with arugula and the basil. I pour the oil, vinegar, and tomato juices from the pan in to act as a dressing, and then add a bit more oil and vinegar only if it seems to need it. Done!

Arugula, roasted pepper and olive salad,
with lime-mint vinaigrette
a few big handfuls of Arugula, washed and dried
3 bell peppers (I used 1 red, 1 orange, and 1 yellow)
a handful of kalamata olives, roughly sliced off of the pit
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 bunch fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1–2 tbsp agave nectar (previously) or honey
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash peppers and place whole directly on oven racks. Roast until the skins are quite blackened and puffy (20–30 min), then remove and place in a plastic bag or sealed container for 15 minutes. Peel off the skin and discard. Slice the peppers into large-ish bite-sized pieces. Toss peppers with arugula and olives. Mix together lime juice, olive oil, agave nectar, mint, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust if necessary (as always from me, these dressing quantities are very approximate – mix it to your own taste). Pour dressing over salad just before serving and toss to coat.

And, as a bonus... you may have noticed a curious blue and white container in the photo above. That is where the Challenge 100 part of this post is lurking. Darryl and I went to Les Amis de Fromage (previously) on the weekend – he'd never been there before, which was a horrible thing that had to be corrected immediately, I thought. He actually managed to resist their temptations, but not me of course. I found something new! Liberte Fromage Frais! It's goat and it's so delicious. Quite a bit like ricotta in texture and flavour. The woman who sold it to me suggested that many like to use it as sour cream, which inspired the whole green mole taco dinner for which the argula salad was a side. And it was tasty as a sour cream substitute, but my favourite thing is to eat it directly from the container with a spoon. I can't stop... must buy more. Now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Meg,
Well I haven't been there either so you will have to put it on the agenda for when I show up. Another great recipe for your project. You are way, way better than any of those pitiful contestants on the new season Hell's Kitchen, started 2 weeks ago. Can't figure out why they were chosen.
Lol, GB