Rifting on recipes is one of my favorite things. A pinch of this or a dash of that. Most of the time these rifts make my recipes even better (a few are terrible inedible fails). A lot of times I don’t even start with a true recipe it’s more of an idea that I start with and run with it. Other times there’s a recipe that I ate at a restaurant that I want to recreate or try out at home.
We had a tasty arugula, roasted pepper and tomato salad at a steakhouse a few weeks ago. It sounded delicious but unfortunately when I tasted it the salad was a bit bland. I kept thinking about this salad after we got home. What would make this salad really sing? I think arugula could be the greatest winter salad green. It’s tender and bitter. It’s also a great change up from our standard baby greens mix or romaine. After thinking about all the ingredients, I realized that some sharp pecorino cheese, a balsamic syrup, and some large sea salt flakes would make a huge difference.
I’m always on the prowl for new ideas to making meals at home. Restaurant dining certainly keeps me on my toes. They also help me think outside my standard rotation of food. This salad is simple yet it isn’t something I would have put together on my own. After making it at home I think the only thing that would make it even a bit better would be to toast up some pine nuts to add another layer of flavor. Then you’d have that nutty toasted layer to play with the bitter greens. It’s a satisfying winter salad layered with flavor.
- 11 oz baby arugula
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut into rounds
- 1 jar of roasted red peppers, cut into thin strips
- 4 oz aged pecorino cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup of balsamic glaze
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- With a vegetable peeler shave pecorino into large ribbons. Then break them into bite sized pieces.
- In a small fry pan toast the pine nuts over low heat. Keep an eye on the pan to not burn them. Set them aside to cool.
- In a large bowl combine arugula, tomatoes, red peppers, shaved pecorino, and pine nuts.
- Drizzle olive oil, balsamic glaze, and salt over salad.
- Toss with tongs until all is mixed.
- Serve with a bit more balsamic glaze drizzled over the top and freshly ground pepper.