Lately I have been posting recipes that have a zillion steps and a zillion calories. They are delicious and completely worth the steps of making them, but I thought I would lighten up this post with something light and simply with just a few steps.
Recently I went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Their portions are so HUGE that I cannot eat an entire entree myself. I convinced my husband that he wanted to share a Salmon dish with me. For a starter I wanted a light simply salad. I noticed on their "small bites" and "skinnylicious" menu they had an Arugula salad. It seemed simple enough. The ingredients were Arugula, Marcona almonds, golden raisins, lemon, olive oil and Parmesan shavings. Now this looked like my kind of a salad. I think most restaurants over dress their salads. They are so heavy with the salad dressing that I miss all the wonderful vegies that are supposed to be in it. I like very few ingredients in my salads. I like to celebrate the greens...leafy greens, ice berg lettuce doesn't count as a leafing green in my book.
The salad was just as described. It was very small, but perfect for a light starter. As I was munching away on my Arugula, I was determined to re-create this salad for myself. What's to re-create...it was pretty simple...piece of cake.
I will begin by saying that I don't have exact measurements for this recipe. I just toss and eat.
You will need:
Baby Arugula, washed well
Almonds, I'm use sliced because that's what I have
Lemon Olive Oil
salt and pepper
I decided to dry roast my almonds. Put a few almonds in the bottom of a skillet.
No oil or butter necessary.
Stir around until the almonds begin to brown.
Pour out onto a plate to cool, which doesn't take long.
Now this is where I start to just add and toss. I'm going to make this as a single serving for myself.
The serving at the cheesecake factory is probably about 1 cup total.
This is more than that, because I loved it so much that next time I go I think I'll order 6 of them for myself and that's all...and maybe the Godiva Cheesecake.
Start with about 1-2 cups Arugula
You can use a good flavored olive oil, if you want, but I like the light flavor of Lemon olive oil. I absolutely LOVE any olive oil from Oliviers & Co, but that just isn't available to everyone...especially me. I keep hoping they will open a store in Utah. I went to my local grocery store and found this brand of Lemon oil and I really like it. Use what you can find.
Drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon over 2 cups of Arugula. Just enough to lightly coat the leaves.
Squeeze just a few drops of lemon juice. I didn't want a tart flavor. Just a mild lemon flavor.
Sprinkle in just a bit of Kosher salt.
I like a few grinds of coarsely ground black pepper.
I cannot begin to tell you how much better fresh ground pepper is. If you are grinding your pepper, you should try it. You will notice a stark difference in the flavor of your foods. I have said this before and I will say it again. That canned ground pepper that you see on the shelves of your grocery store should stay on the shelves of your grocery store. If you want to ramp up the flavor of your cooking, a simple think like using fresh ground pepper will really ramp up the flavor of your dishes.
Off the soap box.
Toss the greens until they are evenly coated with the lemon oil.
Sprinkle with a few golden raisins.
Remember less is more.
Sprinkle on the toasted almonds.
Top with a few shavings of Parmegiano Reggiano Cheese.
That's it. Grab a fork.
Lemon Arugula Salad
Lemon Olive Oil
Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper
In a salad bowl add arugula. About 1 cup per serving. Drizzle on enough lemon oil to lightly coat greens. Add a few drops of Lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss until the arugula is evenly coated with the oil. Top with a small amount of golden raisins and toasted almonds. Top with Parmesan cheese curls. Serve immediately.
Lemon Arugula Salad - a great way to lighten up for spring.