Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and a Citrus Vinaigrette: Part of a Well Balanced Wardrobe

This salad really should be part of one of my "Stolen Idea" posts because I stole the idea! Duh. Well, at least it's my modified version, so perhaps it's a partial steal! Regardless it's delish and a great accompaniment to any meal. My friend DJ and his wife Angela had me over last week to meet their beautiful daughter, Lila (3 months old) and also cooked for me! A treat on both accounts. Which is why I will dedicate this post to my friend and his magic salad......

DJ's Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and a Citrus Vinaigrette


Arugula (I buy Olivia's Organic from Whole Foods)

Goat Cheese - a mild variety in log form

Walnut pieces

Beets (LOVE BEETS brand from Whole Foods, they are pre-made and so easy)

For the Dressing:

1/2 cup orange juice (or 2 oranges squeezed)

2-3 small shallots, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon EVOO, plus 1/4 cup EVOO

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/8 teaspoon of sea salt


For the dressing:
Dice your shallots. Saute until transparent in the 1 tablespoon of EVOO over medium-high heat. Set aside off of the heat. In another saucepan, bring the orange juice to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the juice by about half, or until it thickens. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, combine in the Cuisinart with OJ, red wine vinegar, and salt. Mix until well-blended. With the Cuisinart running, slowly add the olive oil and emulsify! Set aside.

For the salad:

Ahhh the goat cheese! Roll the goat cheese into balls about the size of a large truffle. Place your nuts onto a plate. Take your goat cheese balls and press down until a little "patty" forms and the nuts get stuck into the cheese. Do this to all sides and don't skimp. Set aside. Take your pre-packaged beets and slice them. WARNING: they will turn your fingers pink, so be prepared with a good hand-soap to do a little scrubbing afterward! Assemble your arugula on a plate, add the beets and put the goat cheese bites of heaven on the side. Drizzle (don't douse!) with the Citrus Vinaigrette. Serve it up!

I have eaten this salad with a chicken dish and also as a compliment to homemade pizza. It's versatile and for those people who love goat cheese the nuts really kick it up a notch. Additionally, the light citrus flavor of the dressing cuts the bitterness of the arugula and enhances the taste of the beets. As usual it's all about the components marrying together and complimenting each other!

This will be a perfect and quick salad to bring to that special Labor Day BBQ!