Arugula Salad

Tonight I was invited to a friend’s house for dinner.  I just love being invited to dinner.  Particularly at the home of someone who likes to cook as much as I do.  Almost as good as the food was a conversation about a potential future cooking vacation.  That aside, the food was terrific!  Linguine in a lemon cream sauce.  Lovely and not overly saucy or heavy.  I think it was an abundance of lemon zest that really made the dish.

I volunteered to contribute and was assigned a salad.  To be perfectly honest I am not a good salad maker.  I’m one of those people who loves to eat salad out because the salads are so much better than the ones I make at home.  (Ditto for sandwiches for that matter).  So, I had some arugula left from the farmer’s market.  I have come to love the tiny bit of peppery bitterness that arugula has.  I needed an arugula salad that would go well with a lemon cream sauce.  Cooking Light to the rescue!

I found a recipe for Orange, Arugula and Kalamata Olive Salad.  Of course the other issue is that it’s cold and rainy out and I wasn’t interested in making a trip to the store.  Even I don’t keep blood oranges in the house.  Substitute canned mandarin oranges in their own juice.  And somehow I ran out of kalamata olives, which I normally do have.  Substitute capers.  Oh, and sweet onion instead of red. And leave out the fennel because, yuck.  But the essence of the salad remained in tact.  And it was really good!  The sweetness of the oranges was wonderful with the briny capers.  The lemon juice lent a little brightness to the peppery arugula.  Add some olive oil to smooth everything out and voila!  I made a good salad!

Good? Really good!
Easy? Very.
Good for company? Yep. I don’t make fancy salads just for me.
Special shopping? Nope. Feel free to substitute if need be.

All of the amounts below are approximate.  Taste as you go to get the right mix.  The recipe below reflects my changes.  To see the original click on the recipe title to link to CookingLight.com.

Orange, Arugula and Caper Salad

Ingredients

Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups trimmed arugula (about 8 ounces)
3/4 cup vertically sliced onion
2 tsps capers in brine
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained

Preparation

Combine first 4 ingredients. Whisk vigorously to combine.  Combine arugula, onion, and capers in a large bowl.   Drizzle lemon mixture over arugula mixture; toss gently to coat. Top with oranges.

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