the basic version of this salad (sans blueberries) is one of my favorite salads to make year round. it comes together quickly and, aside from the arugula, i usually already have the ingredients on hand. which is totally a bonus when you’re trying to convince yourself that adding more vegetables to dinner really isn’t any extra work. (prewashed arugula also helps preserve this illusion!)
these days (aka july), the main question i ask myself when thinking about a recipe is, “can i put blueberries in/on it?” the answer with this salad is a resounding “YES!” in fact, i think the real question is if i can continue to eat this salad year round when it doesn’t have any blueberries. in the meantime though: blueberry arugula salad.
the blueberries add a nice contrasting sweetness to the salty pecorino and tangy lemon. the toasted pine nuts add a subtle flavor as well as some crunch (without being too tooth-shattering – yes, i’m looking at you, candied whole almonds). i like to use baby arugula because i’m super sensitive to bitter flavors and find “adult” arugula a bit unpalatable but if you like regular arugula, by all means, have at it… conversely, if you’re like me about 5 years ago and can’t stand (or can’t find) any arugula, baby spinach would work too. as is often the case around here, take this as the beginning of an idea and then do as you please (no mayo, though, of course).
i, for one, am already dreaming about having this again, this time with some sliced, grilled chicken on top, thereby turning this side salad into a meal (at least by too-hot-to-eat summer standards). or if you wanted to keep it vegetarian but add some protein, i think cannellini beans would go quite nicely. experiment and let us know how it goes in the comments!
- 7 oz. (200 g. / 8 cups) baby arugula, washed and gently dried
- 17 oz. (480 g. / 4 cups) blueberries, washed and gently dried
- 1 oz. (24 g. / 4 tablespoons) pinenuts, toasted
- 1 oz. (24 g. / 4 tablespoons) pecorino romano, coarsely grated
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- combine the lemon juice, zest, and olive oil in a small jar with a lid. adjust the lemon/oil ration to taste. set aside.
- in a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and toss.
- shake the salad dressing and pour the desired amount over the salad (you may have leftover dressing). toss the salad.
- divide the salad among 4 plates and serve immediately.