So simple, but it was a delicious pairing and made the eggs feel somehow gourmet. Over time, I’ve added various components to the salad based on mood and what I have on hand.
And while I’ve become a fan of the simply dressed greens with my eggs for breakfast, I also use the salad, in its various forms, to round out many a dinner plate.
With the addition of a protein, the salad can also be enjoyed as a complete meal. Broiled salmon, sliced steak, grilled chicken, and seared shrimp are all worthy options. I’ve linked some of our favorites below.
At a recent photo shoot, Emily mentioned that she prefers other greens over arugula. When she tasted this salad, however, she said she may have changed her mind. (The vinaigrette will truly make the most of any green!)
After snapping a few photos, Donovan volunteered to “clean” the bowl. In other words, eat it!
My family thoroughly enjoys this salad as well. As the cook, the utter ease of preparation makes me love this dish that much more. It’s so darn easy.
The vinaigrette, which has been a staple on this blog and in my kitchen for well over 10 years, provides the right amount of tang with a subtle hint of flavor-balancing sweetness. Dijon mustard adds nuanced flavor, and along with the honey, creates a thickly emulsified dressing that coats the greens in a most luxurious way.
My best tip: Always keep a jar of the vinaigrette in your refrigerator. It only takes five minutes to whip up, and I’ve noticed when I have a jar on hand, I make more salads.
Many of us are trying to incorporate more vegetables into our daily meals, and having a good vinaigrette at the ready offers a helpful nudge in that direction.
Tomatoes add a lovely pop of color, and for those who enjoy, crumbled feta is a similarly welcome addition. Creamy avocado and a handful of nuts and seeds are other additions I reach for often.
The extra ingredients I often include:
Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
Crumbled feta cheese
Thinly sliced radishes
Nut and/or seeds like walnuts, pistachios, almonds, pepitas, and sunflower seeds
For effortless salads at a moment’s notice, keep a jar of Favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette in your fridge. It’s easy to make with basic pantry ingredients and delivers excellent flavor. You can even use it as a marinade for chicken.
I often make an egg scramble for breakfast and serve it with a side of baby arugula tossed in the balsamic vinaigrette. You can add other ingredients as mentioned – the salad is welcoming to a long list of them – but the crisp greens alone truly shine with this flavor-packing dressing.
Perfectly Broiled Salmon offers a deliciously filling way to transform the simple salad into a wholesome, complete meal. A crusty roll or slice of a favorite quick bread is an easy way to provide additional heft. Salad add-ins like avocado, feta, white beans, nuts, and seeds will do the same.
1 small garlic clove, minced (may sub ¼ teaspoon garlic powder)
1 teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon (15g) Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (27g) honey***
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (90ml) balsamic vinegar
½ cup (112ml) olive oil (avocado oil also works well)
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid, whisk together the garlic, salt, pepper, Dijon, honey, and balsamic vinegar.
Drizzle the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking as you go, until the dressing is emulsified. When using a jar, add the olive oil, screw the lid on tightly, and shake well.
Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours to allow flavors to blend.
For the salad: Add the arugula to a large bowl, and then drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss well. You want just enough to coat the arugula lightly but thoroughly. Sprinkle with the feta and walnuts and add the tomatoes and avocado, if using. Toss again, adding another drizzle of vinaigrette, if needed, and transfer to a plate or bowl for serving. Top with optional protein and enjoy!
*The yield for the homemade vinaigrette recipe is 1 cup – plenty for multiple salads over a several weeks.
**By all means, feel free to add other veggies like cucumbers, radishes, and bell pepper or vary the nuts, add seeds, etc. This is simply a combination that I return to again and again.
***This amount of honey provides widely appealing, balanced flavor but can be modified to taste: For a tangier vinaigrette, use 1 tablespoon of honey. For a sweeter dressing, add an additional teaspoon. For a vegan recipe, replace the honey with maple syrup or agave.
Storage: The vinaigrette will keep several weeks in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before using, as the olive oil will separate and become firm (this is normal), and then shake well prior to using.