I spilled all the ……………
……………beans, raspberry “beans”, that is on Monday’s post, so I’m going to make this super short, but nevertheless, very sweet. As you can see, this is one honey of a salad, bursting with flavor, texture and gorgeous color.
It’s also very versatile, because it makes a lovely side dish or a complete meal with the addition of any type of grilled or roasted meat, poultry or seafood. We enjoyed it over the weekend with leftover grilled steak and warm crusty bread; there wasn’t a crumb (or leaf) left on anyone’s plate!
I love to use arugula (or rocket in Europe) in my salads. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a culinary staple in Italy and other Mediterranean countries. It’s a member of the brassicaceae family. It’s relatives are kale, cabbage, cauliflower and mustard greens and it has a distinct peppery flavor. Arugula is super good for you, since it’s loaded with vitamin, minerals and detoxifying compounds. Another interesting fact – it was quite revered in early Roman times as a powerful aphrodisiac, oh my! It was often combined with other aphrodisiac herbs like lavender and chicory to create a somewhat of a “love potion”. So, like your Mama said, EAT YOUR VEGETABLES ARUGULA!
If you’re looking for an impressive, beautiful and delicious salad, you’ve clicked yourself to the perfect place. Gather up these ingredients soon before the nectarines and raspberries are replaced by apples, pumpkins and squash. I promise you won’t be disappointed, and it may just become one of those summery meals you dream about all winter long.
Raspberry Arugula Salad w/ Nectarines, Goat Cheese, Toasted
Almonds & Raspberry Honey Jalapeño Vinaigrette
1 5-ounce bag arugula or baby spinach
½ pint-size container raspberries
2 medium ripe nectarines, seeded and sliced in thin slices
2-3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled*
Toasted sliced almonds**
1. Arrange arugula on 4 dinner plates or 6 salad plates.
2. Scatter with raspberries, nectarines and goat cheese. Drizzle with Raspberry Honey-Jalapeño Vinaigrette and sprinkle almonds over the top.
* ~ Although I love goat cheese, I used to hate it when a recipe called for crumbled goat cheese. It’s a fairly soft cheese and instead of crumbling easily it tends to stick to your hands and make a mess. I figured out that if you place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes before trying to crumble it, it crumbles quite nicely! Now I love eating AND cooking with goat cheese!
** ~ To toast almonds: preheat oven to 325˚F. Place almonds in a small baking pan and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring occasionally.