Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. I love everything about fall; boots, scarves, sweaters, foliage...and pumpkin everything. As much as I love fall, I also really love summer. The brutal winter we had last year made me appreciate this summer even more. I have cherished having meals with a glass of wine on restaurant patios, running outside without 10 extra layers of clothes on, and especially enjoying bright, refreshing foods.
The good news is that technically we still have 21 days left of summer! Let's soak up the last few weeks of the season and enjoy as many summer inspired dishes as possible, shall we? First up...this fabulous Citrus Arugula Salad with Maple Vinaigrette.
I love arugula but to be honest, I tend to forget about it. Spinach and kale have a weird sort of spell on me and I often gravitate to those greens most. I have been making a conscious effort to switch up my greens more often to round out my nutrient intake as much as possible.
Arugula is pretty cool...and here's why.
First of all, arugula also goes by the name rocket, which is kind of awesome. The leaves are bite sized and tender and don't offer an intimidating crunch like iceberg or romaine. Arugula has a mild peppery aroma and taste that I absolutely adore. I also love arugula because it's incredibly versatile. It is easily treated as the main component of a salad or as an herby offset to other ingredients. It is much more flavorful than spinach or chard, and cooks up faster than other hearty greens such as kale or collards.
And let's not forget about the salad dressing. A few years ago the thought of making a homemade salad dressing intimidated the heck out of me. I would always buy bottled dressings and call it a day. I started making my own dressings about 3 or 4 years ago and let me tell you...I don't know if I'll ever go back to bottled. It's just so easy to make your own! And most importantly, you have control over what ingredients go into it. Have you ever looked at the ingredient list of bottled salad dressings? Most have a long list of unpronounceable ingredients. Not a fan. This dressing has 3 simple ingredients (plus a dash of salt and pepper) and is completely satisfying.
This salad is a great way to celebrate refreshing and nourishing foods. It is a perfect side dish for a hearty brunch, or paired alongside any main entree. It is especially perfect for this time of year because the bright, citrus flavor screams summer but the maple syrup vinaigrette reminds you that fall is just around the corner.
Citrus Arugula Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
- 3 packed cups arugula
- 1 orange, peeled and sliced
- 1 grapefruit (pink or white), peeled and sliced
- 1/2 large avocado (or 1 small avocado), diced
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Combine dressing ingredients (olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper) in a sealed container and shake until well combined.
- Layer arugula on your serving dish or in a large bowl.
- Top with additional ingredients (orange, grapefruit, avocado, pistachios). Pour desired amount of dressing on salad and gently mix to combine.
Also, stay tuned for 8,349 pumpkin recipes coming your way this fall ;)