Arugula Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette
I'm often asked what makes a salad delicious and my immmediate response is the dressing. You can make it very simply with vinegar and olive oil, but this time around I used the elements from the salad itself to increase the flavor.
Yields: 6 servings3 cups arugula
2½ cups mâche (see tips)
⅓ cup pine nuts
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup Calebrese green olives, pitted
2 teaspoons honey
1 clove pickled garlic (or raw garlic)
1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar, freshly squeezed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup olive oil
For the pesto vinaigrette: Blanch (dip for 10 seconds in boiling, salted water then transfer to an ice-cold bath) ½ cup arugula, drain, pat dry on a paper towel and roughly chop. In a mortar and pestle, combine the blanched arugula, pickled garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. Grind into a smooth paste. Add honey, mustard 2 tablespoon pine nuts and 1 olive (for a salty note). Slowly add the olive oil; stir until it's incorporated. Add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water if necessary, forthe right consistency. Adjust seasoning.
Assembly time: Place the remaining arugula and mâche leaves in a salad bowl. Sprinkle the pine nuts, green olives and feta cheese over the greens. Add the pesto vinaigrette and toss.
Mâche is also known as "lamb's ear lettuce" in the U.S. You can find it at Trader Joe's.
For more flavor, I lightly dry toasted the pine nuts.Published By: on May 23, 2012.