Summertime Salad: Arugula with a Fresh Berry Dressing

Happens every time. Yep, I’m a rule breaker…a real rebel. 😉 (hee, hee)  Okay, technically when you have friends over for dinner or a party, you are NOT supposed to try out a new dish/recipe you’ve never made before. I guess that’s in case it doesn’t turn out right or you just don’t like it.

But, wouldn’t ya know, that’s when I always get in the mood to experiment and try something different…not the same old, same old.   So far, it’s never come back to bite me in the tush…always seems to turn out fine. In fact, I don’t know what it is, but sometimes a dish seems to turn out its best, the very first time I make it. Does that ever happen to you? Maybe we try harder the first time, following the recipe to the nth degree.

For our little 4th of July bash, I decided to pull out one of those millions (slight exaggeration) of recipes I’ve torn out of magazines over the years. I wanted to make a green salad for our cookout and the one I’m sharing today sounded just right. You’ll find a printable version of this recipe at the end of this post.

 

The Menu:
Several folks have asked what the menu was for the party. It was very much a causal event…just a fun cookout with friends, so I kept it very basic, very simple. We had hamburgers and hotdogs off the grill. I also threw some mushrooms on the grill in case anyone wanted mushrooms on their burger in addition to the usual stuff like tomatoes, lettuce, etc…

I drizzled asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper and cooked it on the grill, too. Sorry I didn’t take pics. When a party starts, I am so focused on my guests, I never think to take pics again.  Plus, it was raining a bit here and there so I was moving with a purpose.

Let’s see…Oh, I made a baked artichoke dip (see pic below) as an appetizer and picked up some of Trader Joes yummy salsa, too. A couple of my guests brought appetizers (deviled eggs and stuffed mushrooms) so we were almost full before dinner hit the grill. lol   We had just stuck the spoons in the dip to scoop it onto our plates before heading out on the porch for our party “on the Titanic” when I took this pic.   As you can see, this was a casual event…nothing fancy…just friends getting together for  some fun and laughs.

 

Another guest brought potato salad her sister had made.  It was delish!

I made baked beans.  Instead of making them from scratch like I usually do, I bought canned beans and doctored them up by adding ground beef (of course, browned with onion in advance) with bacon (cooked in advance) sprinkled across the top.  Then I baked it all in the oven for a bit to get it good and hot.  I just decided to go simple with the beans instead of making them from scratch.

We had the salad I’m about to share, and dessert was cupcakes from scratch with homemade Seven Minute icing…you’ll find the recipe for the icing HERE. I served the cupcakes in the cute lawn chairs like you saw in this 4th of July Tablescape, HERE.

 

I made extra cupcakes…

 

Because you just never know when you might have a cupcake emergency. 😉

 

In addition to the cupcakes, I also made a peach bourbon trifle with fresh Georgia peaches. I shared that recipe HERE.

 

Oh, oh, oh…I almost forgot one of the yummiest parts. I made a wine/pomegranate fruit punch, again for the first time.

 

You’ll find the recipe for the punch HERE and I’ve included it below, as well.  I made two batches and each batch is supposed to yield 10-12 drinks. Six people went through two batches with none left over! It was so refreshing…perfect for a hot, steamy July afternoon/night in Georgia!

 

Of course, we had sodas, iced tea, etc…  I’m sure I’m leaving something off…there was a lot of food!

Okay, I promised you a yummy recipe for a great salad…time to deliver on that promise. 🙂  This recipe comes from an August 2007 issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

Arugula Salad with Berry Dressing:

Ingredients:
1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. honey
Dash of salt
2 Tbsp. chopped pistachio nuts
1 4-oz. log goat cheese (chévre)
4 cups arugula leaves
3/4 cup blackberries, blueberries, and/or raspberries
1/4 cup thin strips of shaved jicama (optional)

Berry Dressing:
In a blender, combine 3/4 cup strawberries, vinegar, oil, honey and salt. Cover; blend until smooth. Set dressing aside.

Place arugula and remaining strawberries in a salad bowl or serving dish.

Spread chopped pistachio nuts on a piece of waxed paper. Roll the goat cheese in the chopped nuts until well coated. (I put the cheese in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes to get it good and cold, which made it a easy to roll in the chopped nuts.)

Slice goat cheese crosswise into 8 slices.

Add blackberries, raspberries, cheese slices and jicama across the top of the salad.

You can peel the jimaca into thin slices/shards with a vegetable peeler.  I’d never eaten or bought jicama prior to this.  I found it at Harry’s Farmers Market, here where I live.  I’m not sure if regular grocery stores carry it or not.  You don’t have to add it to the recipe, but I think it adds a nice touch.  Taste pretty good, too.

Drizzle berry dressing over the salad.
Makes 4 servings.

Here’s the same recipe in a printable version.

Summertime Salad: Arugula with a Fresh Berry Dressing
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Susan (Between Naps on the Porch)
Serves: 4
I originally found this salad recipe in the August 2007 issue of Better Home and Gardens.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil 1 tsp. honey
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped pistachio nuts
  • 1 4-oz. log goat cheese (chévre)
  • 4 cups arugula leaves
  • 3/4 cup blackberries, blueberries, and/or raspberries
  • 1/4 cup thin strips of shaved jicama (optional)
Instructions
  1. Berry Dressing:
  2. In a blender, combine 3/4 cup strawberries, vinegar, oil, honey and salt.
  3. Cover; blend until smooth.
  4. Set dressing aside.
  5. Place arugula and remaining strawberries in a salad bowl or serving dish.
  6. Spread chopped pistachio nuts on a piece of waxed paper.
  7. Roll the goat cheese in the chopped nuts until well coated. I put the cheese in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes to get it good and cold, which made it a easy to roll in the chopped nuts.
  8. Slice goat cheese crosswise into 8 slices..
  9. Add blackberries, raspberries, cheese slices and jicama across the top of the salad.
  10. Drizzle berry dressing over the salad.
Notes
You can peel the jimaca into thin slices/shards with a vegetable peeler. I’d never eaten or bought jicama prior to this. I found it at Harry’s Farmers Market, here where I live. I’m not sure if regular grocery stores carry it or not. You don’t have to add it to the recipe, but I think it adds a nice touch.Taste pretty good, too.


 




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Comments

  1. Graceful Moments says:

    I love a good salad and this one sounds yummy!! I had to go read your Yorkshire Pudding story. After reading that you put it into an 8×8 pan, I see why it was all one huge pudding. I've always seen them cooked in a large muffin pan. Of course, if you had baked it in a muffin pan, it would not have been nearly so much fun!

  2. Beachside Cottage says:

    Oh my – I'm reading this right around dinnertime – I could eat that salad right off the page – looks scrumptious – might try creating it this weekend – thanks for sharing

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Linda

  3. afternoon tea says:

    Being not much of a cook (understatement here), I don't notice much difference in my first attempts and my later attempts. They all feel like I'm just one step from disaster. I think that's why I've always loved to set the table nice, it takes attention away from my cooking. 🙂

    Everything you make, by contrast, always looks great and I would bet a lot of money that it tastes great.
    AT

  4. FABBY'S LIVING says:

    My hubby and me just adore urugula and this one looks great, Susan. I'd love to make it for company, very different and delish! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Love, FABBY

  5. Sizzle and Zoom says:

    You just made me very hungry and I have to try the salad.

  6. Kristy Hansenwi says:

    I have to say that I have been reading your blog for about 2 months now. I love it. I check in most days to see what you are showing. I nowhere near have the decorating items that you have-but love to look. I also like that you show that it can be very inexpensive. gathering things over time. thank you for always sharing. KSH

  7. Kathysue says:

    I love this salad, perfect for a warm summer nights dinner,Thanks for sharing susan!! Kathysue

  8. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Kristy, thanks…appreciate your comment and I'm so glad you are out there reading!

  9. Gosh, Susan, everything looks terrific. Bet your guests enjoyed the evening to the max. Sometimes simple is best. Great job! Susan

  10. Oh Susan, this salad is full of everything I love.

  11. Susan, that salad is going right into my recipe file.
    Thank you, it looks so yummy.
    Have I told you that your site is the one I open to start the day and/or if I come on here at night, I get a preview of the coming day.
    It is always a delight.
    Meg

  12. Designs By Pinky says:

    Susan, it looks like it was a fun gathering with LOTS of great food! I always try out new recipes for "comp[any". And, like you, it seems to always work out fine! Thanks for the recipes. XO, Pinky

  13. sheila @ Elements says:

    Everything looks amazing!! I love the red, white, and blue salad…not only the colors but also the ingredients.

    The trifle sounds amazing, and that cocktail…*gasp* makes my heart skip a beat! I'm gonna have to make that!! 🙂

    The cupcakes are just darling, and I love how you served them in those little chairs!!! That's a brilliant idea! You decorated everything beautifully, and made it festive and fun!

    As far as making something new for guests…yeah…I break that rule too. I've only had a flop once or twice in all these years. I'm like you…I like changin' things up. 🙂

  14. Sounds so yummy!

  15. Gypsy Heart says:

    Looks and sounds delish! I love great salads…especially in all this heat we're having here in TX.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Pat

  16. Gypsy Heart says:

    Looks and sounds delish! I love great salads…especially in all this heat we're having here in TX.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Pat

  17. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Megan, thank you so much for those sweet words! It makes my day to hear you are enjoying my posts! 🙂

  18. Handy Man, Crafty Woman says:

    oooh, that salad looks really yummy!!!

  19. Lissa (Bellenza) says:

    Perfect for summer: your lovely arugula and berry salad and the wine/pomegranate punch! Both look absolutely delicious!

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