One of my all-time favorite greens for salads is arugula—between the touch of spiciness and the tender texture, it has enough flavor to give any salad a nice, bold flavor. To make this salad kid-friendly for my family, I usually add cranberries and candied walnuts to add a little sweetness, as well as goat cheese to mellow out the spiciness of the arugula.
If maintaining your health and weight is one of your New Year’s goals, arugula is the perfect green for you! While it holds very few calories, arugula is actually a nutrient powerhouse with tons of Vitamins A, C and K (which boosts bone and brain health), iron, copper, and is a great source of folic acid (great for women planning to get pregnant).
Enjoy this Sweet and Savory Arugula Salad, and have a wonderfully scrumptious and healthy start to your new year!
What you will need for the Maple Candied Walnuts
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1½ cups raw walnut halves
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
Start off by making your candied walnuts—you can do this as much as a week in advance and store them in a sealed container. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Lay the walnut halves down on a baking sheet (make sure they’re in a single layer) and bake them for about 5 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.
Heat the sugar in a saucepan on medium until it has completely melted and is amber in color. Quickly add the walnuts to the pan and stir the nuts, coating all the pieces with sugar.
Spread the candied walnuts onto a baking sheet or piece of parchment paper, separate the pieces from each other, sprinkle the nuts with salt, and then set aside to cool.
Sweet & Savory Arugula Salad
What you will need for the Maple Lemon Vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a sealed Mason jar and shake vigorously. You can also whisk the ingredients together, but I find shaking dressing in a jar is faster and mixes the ingredients more thoroughly.
What you will need for the Arugula Salad
- 6 cups of baby arugula, washed and dried
- ½ cup of dried cranberries
- ½ cup of crumbled goat cheese
Combine your arugula, cranberries, and cooled candied walnuts into a large bowl, then just before serving, toss the salad with the Maple Lemon Vinaigrette and crumbled goat cheese. Enjoy!