simple arugula salad

Simple Arugula Salad

If you know me at all, you know I’m obsessed with salads.  Call me crazy (some of you do…) but I find them delicious, crisp, and refreshing.  This arugula salad has become a favorite of mine, primarily because it contains 5 ingredients and takes approximately 5 minutes to make.  I feel guilty calling this a recipe because it is so easy to pull together.

Arugula is fairly delicate, so handle it gently – and try to serve (and eat!) immediately after preparing.  The acid of the lemon will wilt the arugula after sitting for about 30 minutes, so you definitely want to eat it within that timeframe.  I’ve found that tossing the leaves in oil first (usually you do the acid first) helps the salad last a bit longer, but this definitely isn’t one that you want to plan to eat the next day.

If you’re looking to add more protein, a piece of grilled or sautéed fish or chicken compliments the flavors of the salad very nicely.  Just keep the seasoning simple (salt and pepper!) so that your veggies and your protein complement one another.

Simple Arugula Salad

Simple Arugula Salad

Simple Arugula Salad

I like to serve this salad with lemon wedges so that each person can adjust the citrus flavor to their own taste.  Also, my mom usually ends up squirting lemon juice on my dad when she dresses her salad, and I find this to be pretty comical, so… you know. Love you, mom and dad 🙂


simple arugula salad

4 side salads, 2 larger salads


  • 5 oz arugula
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmigiano reggiano/parmesan (a small block should do the trick)


  1. Mise en place, and read this recipe all the way through.
  2. Rinse and dry the arugula; transfer to a salad bowl once completely dry. Note that residual water will not only wilt the arugula, but also prevent the dressing from sticking to it.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over the arugula and toss to coat completely.
  4. Zest 1 lemon directly over the arugula so that any essential oils released during the process fall into the salad and add even more flavor.
  5. Squeeze the juice of half of the zested lemon over the arugula. Depending on how juicy your lemon is, you may need to juice the second half as well.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste (a half teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper are good starting points). Toss to combine.
  7. Use a vegetable peeler to shave parmesan strips over the top of the salad.
  8. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!


top with grilled fish or chicken if you desire! Keep the seasonings on either simple so as not to overpower the delicate flavors of the salad. Be sure to prepare the salad last, as it wilts quickly.

9 comments to simple arugula salad

  1. I’ve never been a huge fan of arugula as I tend to find it bitter, which is why I prefer mâche. However, this looks like something I’ll definitely have to try!

    • The parmesan actually helps bring out the nuttier flavors of the arugula and takes away some of the bitterness! I’ve also found that the younger, super fresh arugula from the farmer’s market (vs. pre-washed & packed) tends to taste more peppery and less bitter 🙂

  2. as a starter for the dinner, we often use arugula salad with baby heirloom tomatoes from TJ’s and shaved Parmesan. So instead of lemon you can cut up those small tomatoes and marinate them for a bit in sherry/wine vinegar and olive oil, and then just put it on the bed of arugula and top with the shaved Parmesan (of course salt and pepper are added). Makes it a bright and tasty beginning of the dinner.

so, what did you think?


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