Tuscan Lunch Salad

Photo by: aargersi

by aargersi

about 1 year ago

This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Arugula Recipe.

This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe to Kick Off a Healthy New Year.

This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Bitter Greens.

cfburke's Testing Notes:

Aargersi has transfixed us with her wonderfully light yet hearty Tuscan-inspired salad. Homemade arugula dressing provides a nice bite with a sweet freshness (courtesy of a few mint leaves) and lightly coats the veggies and nibs of Pecorino. Toss in farro, a whole grain chock-full of protein, and the one-dish meal will leave you satiated for hours.

I love Italy. In particular, I love Tuscany - the towns, the people, the wine, the location, the food - everything! I wanted to make a salad that felt like Tuscany, and I wanted it to of course really accentuate the arugula. I wanted it grainy and toothsome and satisfying. And arugula-y. The thought occured to me - why not dress arugula with more arugula? Double up? And so - a hearty salad of grains and cheeses and arugula, in a dressing of arugula. This recipe only uses a third of the dressing but it is great on a green salad or as a steak sauce too, so you will glad for the extra.

Serves 4

Arugula Dressing:

  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 large shallot (about 1/4 c when roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Blend all of the ingredients together, pour into your salad dressing thingy, and put it in the fridge.

Arugula Farro Salad:

  • 1 cup farro
  • 4 large whole garlic cloves
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes - quartered
  • 4 ounces soft spring pecorino in 1/4" dice (but buy extra because you should eat a couple of slices drizzled with honey - it's fantastic)
  • 1 cup arugula - roughly chopped
  • pepper
  1. Put your red onions in a bowl of water and put it in the fridge. This will help take some of the bite out of the onion.
  2. Rinse the farro. Put it in a pot with a pinch of salt and add enough water to cover. Soak it for 20 minutes. Drain that water off, add another pinch of salt, the whole garlic cloves, and cover it again with water. Bring it to a simmer, and allow it to simmer for another 20 minutes. If the water is all absorbed, add a bit more. Test the farro - it should be soft enough to eat but still have some chew to it. Of course how much is up to you! When it is just the way you like it, turn off the heat, remove the garlic and discard, and drain any extra water if there is any. Put the farro into a bowl to cool.
  3. Once the farro is room temp, make the salad. Stir in the tomatoes, arugual and pecorino. Drain the onions and pat them dry, and add them in. Dress the salad with about 1/3 of the dressing and a couple grinds of pepper. Toss, taste, decide if you need more dressing. This is good room temp or cold - so enjoy now and later!!!

Nutrition Info:


  • 779 calories
  • 63g total fat
  • 13g saturated fat
  • 30mg cholesterol
  • 722mg sodium
  • 41g carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 8g sugar)
  • 17g protein


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