Arugula is in season now in the mid-Atlantic. It is by far my favorite green. I adore it in salads, I like it lightly sautéed, and it is wonderful raw and undressed as a bed for juicy proteins too. It is tender and peppery and a bit sweet – such a unique flavor. Tonight, I tried it with some local fresh apricots, diced fennel, and pistachios. It was a divine combination that went perfectly with the locally-sourced pork chops we enjoyed, cooked simply pan-seared with lemon, olive oil and oregano. We also had a unique quinoa dish – quinoa tabbouleh. I’ll share that recipe later too.
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp apricot jelly or preserves
2 tsp whole grain mustard
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
Juice of ¼ fresh orange
Sea salt and pepper to taste
6 cups fresh baby arugula leaves
4 small apricots, pitted and sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/3 cup natural pistachios, shelled
This salad could not be simpler. Simply put all the dressing ingredients in a blander and mix them up. If you do not have apricot preserves, you can use peach, or orange marmalade, or even an additional fresh apricot pureed into the dressing (I’d add a teaspoon of honey if I went that route).
Toss the arugula with the sliced apricots, pistachios, and fennel and dress just before serving. Season liberally with fresh cracked pepper and a bit of high quality sea salt. Enjoy! This is divine paired with Riesling and either pork or grilled chicken. It would probably make a great main dish salad with seared scallops too.