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.