This recipe is an original that I was contracted to create for the Arkansas Farm Bureau.
I would say that for the first 20-something years of my life I was a salad hater through and through. I didn’t like most of the vegetables, but would pick out all the carrots and eat them up. I really disliked most of the bottled salad dressings which always seemed to do a poor job of masking the vegetable flavor. And they just seemed so messy to have on a plate with a bunch of other food. Sure, there are salad bowls, but for some reason I was anti-bowl at that time too.
Really, I have no excuses for myself on that one.
When I was pregnant with my son there were so many changes that happened for me flavor-wise. I was never a sweets person either, and suddenly all I wanted was cookies and cake. When the brunt of winter, and subsequently my third trimester, came around all I wanted was a garden-fresh salad with perfectly juicy tomatoes and lettuces purchased that day from the farmer’s market. Yet somehow in the middle of that Colorado winter there were none to be found, and so I waited – sometimes patiently, sometimes not – for that summer produce to come soon.
That summer I ate my weight in fresh vegetables, and even tried arugula for the first time. The peppery bitterness was so enticing, and I learned that making my own salad dressings was not only incredibly simple but phenomenally more flavorful too. We’re two years into my son’s life now, and I still crave salads weekly.
Don’t be fooled – I still crave cookies and cake too. But I figure a great salad helps make up for most of that.
I am anxiously in wait for this summer’s crop of fresh produce just waiting to be discovered at our local markets here in Arkansas, with big dreams of new dressings and combinations to come. This simple arugula salad has only a few ingredients, but packs a punch of flavor that can’t be beat. If berry season is in full gear I would suggest some fresh strawberries, still warm from the sun, or even some blueberries at that. Enjoy!