A Note from the Chef
Sometimes called rocket lettuce, this lettuce is a member of the mustard green family and is my all-time favorite lettuce. This peppery lettuce is also slightly tart and one of the most versatile kitchen ingredients in any kitchen. Eaten raw, its bold flavor stands up to bright flavors like citrus (Lemon) and salty cheeses (Bleu). When cooked, it becomes less spicy and can be used like spinach. I often add it, last minute, to soups and pastas.
I love it raw. This recipe is one of my favorites. Period. When this simple salad adorns the top of a simple dish like grilled chicken, Tuscan-grilled steak or an omelet, it elevates it to an elegant meal. It is my quick go-to for week-night meals.
- ¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
- 4 cups arugula, washed and spun dry
- Kosher or sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper (or course ground)
- Parmesan cheese (shaved with a vegetable peeler) for garnish
- Place arugula in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of lettuce.
- Sprinkle lemon juice over lettuce.
- Pour olive oil around the side of the bowl, allowing it to run down the inside. *Do not pour directly onto lettuce as it makes the lettuce too heavy and saturated.*
- Using just-washed clean hands, gently toss all ingredients together. Taste a leaf and adjust seasoning, if desired.
- Transfer to serving bowl or plates.
- Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan on top of salad.
- Add Fruit like pear, grilled peach, grapes, berries or dried cherries, etc.
- Substitute crumbled gorgonzola for the Parmesan.
- Add toasted pecans or walnuts
- Substitute balsamic vinegar for lemon juice