Arugula, Endive and Red Onion Salad
- Servings: 4.
At some point toward the end of every winter I get romaine fatigue. This is when I feel like I can't eat one more salad made with romaine lettuce and I begin to crave the mix of lettuces that only seem available in the late spring and summer.
But arugula comes to the rescue. Especially baby arugula that can have a robust, peppery flavor no matter the time of year. Baby arugula is also easy to find in most grocery stores, often pre-washed and quick to combine with other salad ingredients.
Because of arugula's distinctive flavor, I like to keep salads made with it simple with few additions. That way each flavor can still have some presence. In this salad I combine the arugula with thin slices of pale green endive and red onion (other year-round ingredients), and creamy French feta. It's dressed with lemon vinaigrette.
A note on feta cheese: this sheep's milk cheese can be found from domestic US producers but for the best flavor try to choose one that is imported. There are three: French, Greek, and Bulgarian fetas. Taste each to see what you prefer, but for this salad I like French feta, which is milder and creamier. Greek feta has the most forward and salty flavor and crumbles the most easily. Bulgarian has a mellow flavor and a texture that is about halfway between the French and Bulgarian.
- 6 oz. baby arugula (about the contents of 1 plastic box, or 6 cups), washed and spun dry
- 1 large or 2 smaller endives, trimmed of the base and outside leaves and sliced thin
- 1 small or 1/2 medium red onion, halved and then sliced very thin
- 1/4 pound feta cheese, preferably French feta, cut into thin slices and 1/2-inch cubes (it will fall apart as you cut it and that's fine)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or half olive oil and half canola oil
- In a large salad bowl combine the arugula, endive, and sliced onion.
- Make the vinaigrette: combine the lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, and mustard in a small bowl and with a fork, stir to combine. Add the oil, stirring with the fork to emulsify.
- Pour over the dressing (you may not need it all; start with half and go from there, re-stirring before adding more to the salad) and toss.
- Scatter the pieces of feta on top of the salad and serve immediately.
You can make the salad up to the point of adding the feta. Portion it to individual plates and then scatter a little feta on each serving. The feta breaks easily and if you add it to the salad too soon and toss it along with the other ingredients, it will combine too much.