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My favorite summer salad is this Arugula Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes, served with a delicious Honey Lemon Vinaigrette. For all those sweet & sour & salty lovers out there - like me. This flavor-packed salad is done in just 5 minutes, and goes perfectly with any kind of barbecue - especially a nice piece of beef.
Arugula or rocket - or rucola?
I know the arugula-rocket confusion is real - and here's the deal: The difference between arugula and rocket is - nothing! It's just the good old British vs American English conundrum. Americans say arugula, and the Brits say Rucola. And in Sweden (and Italy! and the rest of Europe?) we generally talk of Rucola. Same plant, differnt name. So now you know. Go out and besserwisser about it!
No matter what you call it, it's a delicious type of salad with thin, delicate leaves that have a slightly peppery taste. Perfect for adding to salads, topping burgers with, serving fried cheese on top of, or anything else that could benefit from a subtle peppery punch - and some beautiful greens.
This arugula salad has been a barbecue staple in my life since I first had something similar in a restaurant a million (or ten) years ago. So delicious and so perfect in flavor that I just had to create my own version!
Why this recipe works
- Quick & easy - minimal work, minimal chopping, minimal dishes and just 5 minutes to make.
- Lemon juice gives acidity and lightens the salad, making it perfect for pairing with a heavier piece of meat and fatty sauces like the Swedish barbecue-go-to bearneaise.
- Sea salt flakes that are just slightly crushed adds complexity by making each bite a bit different.
- And while we're at it - sour & salty might just be the best flavor combo there is!
- But too much of anything is never good - so the honey balances the acidity & saltiness and makes it come together in a smooth harmony.
- Peppery arugula adds another layer of flavor and is a perfect base for all the flavor of that vinaigrette.
- Sun-dried tomatoes add a delicious extra, slightly chewy texture layer - and we all love our layers!
Expert tips for making this
- Serve this salad immediately - it's not a good one for storing and will just turn out too sour and with sad, wilted arugula leaves.
- There's so much flavor here - so be sure to taste test at all steps. This means tasting the vinaigrette before adding the sun-dried tomatoes to make sure the balance of sweet-sour-acidic is just right (for you!), tasting a piece of sun-dried tomato drenched in the vinaigrette to make sure the balance still holds and then once again after mixing in the arugula. Remember, you can always add more lemon & salt at a later stage but you can't take it away! So if you're unsure how salty & acidic you like it - go with half the amount first and add more as you go.
How to make Arugula Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Honey Lemon Vinaigrette
Start by making the vinaigrette. The easiest way is to make it in a your mixing or serving bowl. I like making salad in an oversized bowl for easy mixing, and then transferring it to a smaller serving bowl when it's done.
For the vinigrette, start by adding lemon juice, honey and olive oil.
Then add your fresh ground black pepper and crush your sea salt flakes slightly and add them. And then blend everything together really well.
Next up, add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Mix them into the vinaigrette so they're completely covered and then add the arugula. Mix well to coat entirely, and then serve immediately!
What goes well with Arugula Salad
While delicious, the full flavor of this salad makes it better suited as a side than as a dish on its own. The acidity is a perfect companion for heavier dishes - a fatty fish, a heavy piece of grilled meat or anything served with a heavier sauce, like a berneaise sauce.
My go-to way of serving this salad? As a side for a nice piece of grilled Entrecôte, boiled new potatoes smothered in butter and maybe a spoonful (or ten) of a spiced berneaise sauce. Barbecue season just doesn't get any better than that!
More quick & easy summer salds
Love quick & easy summer salads like this one? Then you're going to love these:
- Avocado Mango Salad with Salted Roasted Peanuts
- Creamy French Potato Salad (without mayo!)
- Shopska Salad with Feta Cheese [Vegetarian]
Let me know what your favorite way of serving this salad is! Just leave a comment below - and if you leave a rating while you're at it, you'll make me one happy girl!
Arugula Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Honey Lemon VinaigrettePrint Pin Rate
- 2 handfuls arugula
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
Honey Lemon Vinaigrette
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed, 2 Tbsp = about 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes slightly crushed
- 0.5 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- In a mixing bowl large enough to hold all the salad, mix together the ingredients for the vinaigrette.
- Add in the chopped sun-dried tomatos and mix.
- Add in the arugula and mix. Serve immediately!
Nutritional information is approximate and automatically calculated, and should only be viewed as an indication.