Simple Arugula Salad

Quick Summary

Arugula Salad- baby arugula tossed in a fresh olive oil lemon dressing and topped with shaved Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts. This simple salad goes great with any meal and only takes a few minutes to make.

arugula salad in bowl with shaved Parmesan cheese and pine nuts

I try to make a salad to go with all of our meals. Adding extra greens is always a good idea and salad goes well with any meal. A few of my go-to salads are my Simple Kale Salad, Easy Green Salad, and this Simple Arugula Salad.

Arugula (aka rocket) is one of my favorite greens because it is full of flavor. The flavor is bright, tart, and peppery. I love the spicy kick! You can add it to pastas, pizza, sandwiches, and it makes a great base for salads.

This Simple Arugula Salad is the BEST because it only takes a few minutes to make and I always have the ingredients on hand. The spicy, peppery greens are tossed in a fresh olive oil lemon dressing and topped with salty, shaved Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts.

The salad is super simple, but the flavors are very gourmet. You will feel like you are eating a salad from a fancy Italian restaurant. The flavors are SO good together. Sometimes simple food, is the BEST food!

You really can serve this salad with any meal or make it for quick lunch! I try to make it at least once a week because it’s a winner!

arugula salad ingredients

Salad Ingredients

  • Arugula– I like to use baby arugula. Baby arugula is simply arugula harvested young, making the leaves smaller. The flavor is also milder and more delicate. You can find baby arugula at most grocery stores in the produce section by the bagged salads.
  • Parmesan Cheese I recommend buying a wedge of high quality Parmesan cheese for the salad. Use a vegetable peeler to thinly shave the cheese. The shavings are pretty and the size is nice. I love getting a big bite of salty Parmesan, yum!
  • Pine Nuts– I love adding toasted pine nuts for a sweet, buttery crunch. They are kind of pricey, but are so good in this salad. Of course, you can leave them out or use a different nut.
  • Olive oil– the base of the dressing.
  • Lemon juice– I like to use a lemon squeezer to juice lemons.
  • Honey– a touch of honey to slightly sweeten the dressing. You can also use pure maple syrup.
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper– a must to bring all of the flavors together.
arugula salad dressing

Salad Dressing

Homemade salad dressing isn’t complicated, especially this one. All you have to do is whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, a little bit of honey, salt, and pepper.

The dressing is light, fresh, and SO easy to make. I always have the ingredients in my kitchen which makes it easy to whisk up anytime and all of the time.

arugula salad in bowl with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts

How to Make Arugula Salad

  • First, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the arugula in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss until coated.
  • Top with shaved Parmesan cheese and pine nuts.
  • That is it! SO easy!

Salad Variations

This arugula salad really is SIMPLE! If you want to create a more elaborate salad, you can play around with the following ingredients.

  • Instead of pine nuts, use pecans, candied pecans, walnuts, almonds, pepitas, or sunflower seeds.
  • Change up the cheese! Goat cheese, feta cheese, or blue cheese are all good options.
  • Make homemade croutons and add them to the salad.
  • Add in dried cranberries, cherries, currants, or golden raisins. You can also add fresh fruit. Peaches, apples, pears, or berries would be fabulous!
  • Add in extra vegetables like artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cucumber, or even roasted vegetables.
  • Toss in your favorite pitted olives.
  • If you want to add protein, you can top the salad with chicken, salmon, steak, chickpeas, white beans, or hard boiled eggs.
  • Freshen things up with some fresh herbs!
  • My balsamic vinaigrette is also great with this arugula salad.

Serving Suggestions

You can really serve this salad with ANY meal, but here are a few of our favorites that pair really well with arugula salad.

arugula salad in bowl with toasted bread

More Easy Salad Recipes

Simple Arugula Salad

Baby arugula tossed in a fresh olive oil lemon dressing and topped with shaved Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts. This simple salad goes great with any meal and only takes a few minutes to make.

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup thinly shaved Parmesan cheese*
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, optional

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the arugula in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss until coated. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese and pine nuts, if using. Serve immediately.

Notes

Use a vegetable peeler to thinly shave the Parmesan cheese. You can also buy a container of Parmesan shavings, but I think fresh is best.
To quickly toast the pine nuts, place the nuts in a skillet (with no oil) over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the nuts are fragrant and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t walk away because they will toast quickly, you don’t want to burn them. Remove immediately from the pan and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking and to cool.

Nutrition

Calories: 158kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 210mg, Potassium: 151mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 939IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 205mg, Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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