Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Arugula, pepita, and Parmesan salad

The other night for dinner, Amy said that she was tired of the same old cucumber and tomato salads and was in the mood for arugula, pumpkin seeds and cheese.  So that is what we had, and it was really good.  This is how you do it:

Arugula, pepita, and Parmesan salad

  • 6-8 cups loosely packed arugula (ideally farm-fresh, dirty and spicy, not the prewashed stuff though this is acceptable if you are pressed for time)
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas, with the shell removed)
  • shaved Parmesan cheese to taste, about 1/2 cup (good Grana Padano does nicely as well)
  • dressing of 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil, and 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Wash and dry the arugula well.  This may involve soaking it in several changes of water until it runs clear, spinning it dry, and wrapping in in toweling and leaving it in the fridge for a few hours.  Or maybe not.
  2. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a heavy skillet until they swell and pop but do not burn.  Put in a dish to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Shave the Parmesan using a vegetable peeler.  This is a great way to use up the cheese next to the rind that is difficult to grate.  The rinds themselves should of course be saved and used in vegetarian soups, to which they add a deep umami flavor.
  4. Put the mustard in a small dish, whisk in the vinegar, and then whisk in the oils.  (I used a fork -- I am using whisk hear as a verb without reference to the specific implement.)   Dip in a leaf to taste, and whisk in more oil or vinegar as needed.
  5. Put the arugula in a large salad bowl, add pumpkin seeds and shaved cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle on the dressing.  Toss very well.  It may not seem like enough dressing, but it probably is if you have enough room and patience to toss it.  If not, add a bit more oil and vinegar, going light on the vinegar.
This serves 2-4, depending on what else you are having and when you are eating it.  Amy thought it would be good with thinly sliced tart apples, and she is probably right and we will try it that way next time.  I think it would also be good with pears, but she hates pears (a hatred that I have found is shared by many people) so I am probably on my own for that one.

No comments:

Post a Comment