Peppery arugula (or rocket, if you prefer) greens lightly tossed with a festive, tangy cranberry pomegranate vinaigrette. Temper with savory, crunchy croutons and my favorite hard cheese- Pecorino Romano. Add a side of cured salami and this salad is dressed to impress.
It’s Christmas Eve and I’m teetering on the edge of having some holiday spirit. Having friends and family over to sing Christmas carols helped even though I didn’t sing. Dad plunked out the tunes on the piano, my nephew accompanied a tune or two on the accordion (better than you might assume), and the unexpected addition of my Canadian cousins made it sound, except when only one person knew the lyrics and everyone else mumbled and hummed, almost like we practiced. There was music talk about how having a tenor here helped, but aside from knowing all the words in that statement it made little sense to me. I made snacks. That I know.
But all this bah humbug has made it hard to think about food, because I’m not feeling fancy or elaborate and this year more than most the bittersweet aspects of the holiday are apparent. This salad is a compromise. It is also, literally, bittersweet .
I love arugula. When I discovered I could no longer eat raw spinach it was a dark time in my salad days. But then I found this delightful peppery green and my salads (and sandwiches and pizzas and omelets) are happy again.
arugula salad with cranberry pomegranate vinaigrette, homemade croutons, and shaved pecorino romano
cranberry pomegranate vinaigrette
- 1.5 ounces volume, not weight pureed fresh cranberries (I happened to have this very thing already in my fridge but if I didn’t I might make this dressing using my immersion blender and just start with whole cranberries)
- 1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 4 ounces white balsamic vinegar
- 6 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl or immersion blender safe jar and whisk or ‘blend’ until combined and slightly emulsified.
- Serve tossed with arugula, croutons, and shaved pecorino romano.
- A few orange slices and walnuts might also be nice if there aren’t enough ingredients for you and if you are not allergic to walnuts like I am.