Arugula was a mysterious salad green when I was a kid. I vividly remember Martha Stewart, during one of her original television shows, making a sandwich using arugula in place of iceberg lettuce. It intrigued me immensely. She made her cooing little sounds as she smacked her lips and told us “arugula is my favorite and it has the taste of pepper.” She most likely followed it up with her signature “it’s a good thing.”
Arugula was foreign to me and my little brain could not fathom a lettuce that tasted like pepper. I wanted to try it and I wanted to try it something fierce. Alas, it took moving to Southern California many years later to ever come across it. Nowadays, I can count on my hand the number of places where I can pick up a rinsed ready-to-eat container of arugula. Martha knew a good thing when she tasted it.
This salad is filling, tasty, and bursting with color. There is a symphony of flavor piping in with their signature strengths, sweet, savory, deep, crisp, bitter, sour, and hot. I think it would be excellent as a main dish or an Oscar-worthy best supporting actress to a main dish.
ORZO SALAD WITH ARUGULA AND BALSAMIC
Serves 6-8 as side dish and 4 for main dish
- 12oz container of cherry tomatoes, approximately 2 cups, cut in quarters
- ¼ red onion, minced
- 1 cup chopped cucumber, peeled and minced
- 1 minced garlic clove
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup feta cheese
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 4 tablespoons De Nigris Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Silver Eagle
- 1 package of orzo pasta or enough for 1 cup of cooked orzo pasta
- 2 cups baby arugula
1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, excluding the orzo pasta and arugula.
2. Boil and cook pasta according to directions. Gluten-free orzo pasta will work great in this dish if you happen to be gluten-free. Boil orzo, drain, and rinse.
3. Add orzo pasta to the mixing bowl and incorporate.
4. Plate arugula in serving bowls and top with orzo salad mixture. Serve.