The arugula in my backyard grows like a weed, which of course, it is. But a tasty one. So I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to add it to soups, salads and, even eggs. This arugula salad recipe was inspired by Cooking Light, a go-to magazine for me for the past 15 years. I’ll make a recipe once their way (well, I admit I don’t always follow the rules) and improve on it until sometimes it barely resembles the original (like this one). Call it an ex-chef’s obsessiveness but this recipe hits the right spot on a weeknight or for weekend brunch paired with rotisserie or grilled chicken and an inexpensive Italian Prosecco or Spanish Cava. (I love this $5 Cava sold at Trader Joe’s)
Arugula Salad with Prosciutto and Asiago Cheese
Serves 4 people
4 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 ounces thinly cut prosciutto, chopped
1 fresh, minced garlic clove (about 1/2 teaspoon — but don’t use jarred since you need the garlic-y bite)
3 Tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher if you have it)
2 5-ounce bags of fresh arugula
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (or any nut you prefer – Costco has cheap pine nuts so I toss them in everything)
1/3 cup Asiago, Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese, shaved (could also substitute crumbled feta)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1. Heat medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to pan, coating evenly. Add prosciutto and saute 4-5 minutes or until meat is crisp. Drain on paper towels.
2. In a small bowl, combine 4 Tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Stir well with a whisk. Set aside.
3. In a large salad bowl, place arugula, cheese, nuts, tomatoes and prosciutto. Add juice mixture and toss well to coat. My husband likes his salads with a lot of dressing so sample a leaf throughout the tossing to test the flavor.