If I could, I'd make this arugula salad recipe every night of the week. Tossed in a bright lemon dressing, it's a simple, fresh, and flavorful side dish.
There are few things I love more than a simple arugula salad. To his credit, Jack knows it. Not far from our house, there’s a little food market/sandwich shop that sells the BEST arugula. It’s crisp, tender, and perfectly peppery. Every time Jack goes out to get a sandwich for himself, he comes home with a box of arugula for me.
I’ve used it to make all sorts of arugula salad recipes over the years (this one, this one, and this one, for starters), but lately, I’ve been especially smitten with this combination. I toss the arugula with a bright lemon dressing, nutty shaved Parmesan, and tamari almonds for crunch. Then, for a final finishing touch, I scatter on a handful of juicy roasted grapes. Sweet and bursty, they’re a delightful, unexpected way to balance the bitterness of the arugula.
Serve this recipe as a side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any dinner any night of the week. No matter the occasion, it’s bound to be a hit.
Arugula Salad Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this arugula salad recipe:
- Fresh arugula, of course! It creates the base of this simple salad.
- Red grapes – I love how their sweet flavor plays off the peppery arugula.
- Parmesan cheese – For salty, nutty flavor. Use a vegetable peeler to slice it into thin shavings.
- Almonds – For crunch!
- Tamari – It adds rich, savory flavor to the toasted almonds.
- And my lemon vinaigrette – To tie it all together! This 6-ingredient salad dressing is zingy, bold, and bright.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Whisk together the dressing while you toast the almonds and roast the grapes. When the almonds are toasty and fragrant and the grapes are just beginning to burst, remove them from the oven, assemble the salad, and serve!
If you want to get ahead, you can make the dressing and toast the almonds up to 2 days in advance. Store the dressing in an airtight container in the fridge, and keep the almonds at room temperature.
Arugula Salad Recipe Variations
This arugula salad recipe is fantastic as written, but there are all sorts of tasty ways to change it up! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Use another nut. Toasted pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts would be a great replacement for the tamari almonds.
- Try a different cheese, like goat cheese, shaved pecorino, Manchego, or feta.
- Swap the fruit. In the fall and winter, use sliced pears or diced apples instead of the grapes. In the spring, add strawberries. Use blueberries in the summer. Dried cranberries or tart cherries would be delicious at any time of year.
- Keep it classic. Skip the fruit and the nuts, and make a quick and easy arugula salad with just the Parmesan and the simple lemon vinaigrette.
Let me know what variations you try!
More Favorite Salad Recipes
If you love this arugula salad recipe, try one of these light and flavorful salads next:
- Caesar Salad
- Simple Green Salad
- Pear Salad with Balsamic and Walnuts
- Kohlrabi Slaw
- Green Bean Salad
- Sweet Potato Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Or any of these 37 Best Salad Recipes!
Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- ½ cup whole almonds
- 1 cup red seedless grapes
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tablespoon tamari
- 6 cups arugula
- Lemon vinaigrette, for drizzling
- ¼ cup shaved Parmesan or pecorino
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the almonds on the first sheet and the grapes on the second. Drizzle the almonds and grapes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the almonds with the tamari and roast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until dark and toasty. Roast the grapes for 7 to 15 minutes, until they’re soft and just starting to burst. The timing will depend on the size of the grapes.
- Place the arugula in a large shallow bowl and toss with drizzles of the vinaigrette. Top with the almonds, grapes, and Parmesan. Season to taste and serve.
Love how you kept this one simple. I too love arugula salads, and I think it would be a shame to hide it’s bold peppery flavor with a bunch of toppings. The lemon dressing would go great with the peppery taste, too.