I make some variation on this salad for my
own lunch at least once a week, and it always makes me happy. The
foundation ingredients are always the same: fresh arugula leaves
(preferable from our backyard garden), avocado, and sliced fennel bulb.
These items - three of my favorites - with a nice dressing can be enough
lunch for me. That said, I usually like to layer a few more items in my
salad bowl: toasted pine nuts, hazelnuts, or pistachios, and either
Parmesan or fresh goat cheese. In winter, kumquats or blood orange are
nice additions, or in summer I will add some juicy cherry tomatoes. And
if I can, I throw in a few fennel or arugula blossoms from the garden.
The layers of flavor and texture in this salad are not only beautiful to
look at, they are deeply satisfying: you get peppery, crisp, creamy,
salty, and crunchy bites all in one dish!
INGREDIENTS makes 2 meal-sized salads
- 1 heaping teaspoon Djion mustard
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- sea salt, a pinch or two
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
- 4 cups fresh baby arugula leaves
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
- 1 avocado, sliced and peeled
- 1/2 cup Marcona almonds (or toasted pine nuts)
- 1 ounce best quality Parmesan, shaved
- freshly ground Black pepper
First make your dressing. Scoop the Djion into a 16 ounce Mason Jar,
giving you plenty of room for whisking the dressing. Pour in 2 teaspoons
of vinegar and a pinch of nice salt. Use a fork or small whisk to fully
incorporate the ingredients. This next part is essential to a
successful dressing: whisk vigorously and continually as you slowly
drizzle your olive oil into the jar. Stop periodically to make sure your
oil is emulsifying, giving it a few extra whisks before you continue
drizzling in the oil. You will end up with a really nice creamy dressing
for your salad. Taste and add more salt if you need it. Set aside. You will have leftover dressing for later use - always a nice thing to have on hand.
Wash and thoroughly dry your arugula. Scatter even amounts of greens
onto two pretty plates or low bowls. Using a mandolin, if you've got
one, slice the fennel bulb into thin rounds. Scatter fennel over the
arugula. Next layer on the avocado slices. Then sprinkle on the Marcona
almonds. Finally, using a vegetable peeler, shave thick pieces of
Parmesan over the salads. Drizzle a tablespoon or two of dressing onto
each salad and give a few grinds of the pepper mill.
yummy supper http://yummysupper.blogspot.com