Arugula, Pear and Watermelon Radish Salad, healthy and tasty lunch idea, dairy and nut free, or flavorful and colorful side dish to any dinner. The vinaigrette is the star of this dish: sweet and tangy, refreshing and delicious.
At times I wonder how I can still like having a salad for lunch when the weather outside is freezing. I mean, in the past week the temperatures took another deep dive, and left us in a brutal cold every day. The wind was so chilled I couldn’t stick my nose out, so, again, I was stuck in the house with my trusted companions, the adorable cats Wonton and Bailey.
My friends and family in Rome, they ask me all the time how I can make it, if I ever go out in this weather at all, but mostly they tell me to barricade myself indoor and wait for spring to come. I don’t do that, of course. Although the first impulse I get is to hibernate, I’ve actually come a long way since a few years ago when I was new to Canada. Now, I still find it extremely cold, at times unbearable, and I do not like it, but I walk to yoga and jazzercise all bundled up, and with Loreto we’re social butterflies, so it seems like the cold does not scare us: movies, concerts, live theatre, dinner out, breakfast outings, friends, family, and lots of grocery shopping to do.
Thanks to the groceries we get on Saturday at the Farmers Market and organic markets, we are mostly set for the whole week. At least, if I am stuck in the house, I can always count on supplies for my lunch.
And a good, mixed salad (insalata mista, as we say) is my go-to. I often add a protein of some sort to the greens: cheese, chickpeas, beans, tuna, egg, and a variety of nuts, seeds, and fruits. But I am -mostly- famous for being really bad with my protein intake; in the reality of things, I have a protein once a day, at dinner (because Loreto is there to watch me, lol).
This Arugula, Pear and Watermelon Radish Salad has no protein, so I guess for the majority is the perfect side dish to a beautiful dinner. For me, it made the perfect lunch: light, fresh, crunchy, sweet and tangy thanks to Loreto’s vinaigrette. This salad is a keeper, and in fact, we made it again when we had a couple of friends over for dinner, the sweet Margaret from Kitchen Frau and her lovely husband. It sealed the end of a beautiful meal in the company of great friends.
This salad is pure heaven in textures: the tenderness of the lettuce, that crispness of the arugula, pear, and watermelon radish, the crunch from the seed mix. Then the flavors: vibrant, and fresh. You have the butteriness of the lettuce meeting the peppery nature of the arugula, add in earthy from the radish, and sweetness and juiciness of the pear. To bring it all together the vinaigrette with its unmistakable raspberry bite, accompanied by some acidic sweetness of the balsamic cream, richness from the olive oil, and nuttiness of the sesame oil. In a nutshell: a beautiful compliment to all the garden goodness, and this Arugula, Pear and Watermelon Radish Salad is a reminder that spring is to come, and that I will hold onto as I look out into that winter sky.
Song of the day: “Walk”, by Foo Fighters.
- 3 cups green leaf lettuce, washed
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 pear, sliced
- 1 watermelon radish, sliced
- 2 Tbsp seeds mix (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, poppy seed)
- 2 tsp raspberry jam
- 1 tsp balsamic cream vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
- dash salt and pepper
- dash sugar
- Take washed lettuce and break into smaller pieces and place in bowl. Mix in Arugula.
- Wash and peel watermelon radish.
- With a mandoline slicer cut watermelon radish into thin rounds.
- Wash pear and also cut using mandoline, stopping before hitting the core then turning on the other side to do the same.
- In a bowl whisk olive oil, sesame oil, balsamic cream, raspberry jam, salt, pepper, and sugar. Blend with a small whisk until smooth and well incorporated.
- Grab a good handful of the arugula lettuce mix.
- Places some slices of watermelon radish and pear off to one side.
- Mix up vinaigrette and drizzle over salad.
- Sprinkle some seed mix.
- Ready to serve.
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