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Super Simple Arugula Salad

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Super Simple Arugula Salad

Sometimes you just want super simple, clean and tasty. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to achieve this - simplicity and combining flavors are crucial. Meet THE go-to salad recipe that is so easy to make, but still has a unique, delicious flavor profile. This simple salad features fresh arugula and the world’s easiest homemade balsamic salad dressing. It goes with just about everything - pasta, sandwiches, scrambled eggs, grilled meats, holiday meals, and could even be the base for many veggie/salad “bowls.”


  • A couple large handfuls of arugula (about 1 ½ packed cups), or similar greens
  • Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lighter drizzle of thick balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze*
  • Optional: Light sprinkle of finely grated aged cheese, such as Parmesan or even sharp cheddar or crumbled feta
  • Small pinch of flaky sea salt, kosher salt or fine salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper or pinch of red pepper flakes


  1. Add a couple handfuls of arugula to a bowl or small plate. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, followed by a lighter drizzle of balsamic vinegar (the ratio is really up to you—balsamic is sweeter than most other vinegars, so you might enjoy equal parts vinegar and oil).
  2. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired. Sprinkle with a small pinch of flaky sea salt, crushing it between your fingers as you sprinkle, or other salt (use a little more salt if not using cheese, which is salty).
  3. Finish the salad with a couple twists of freshly ground black pepper or a small pinch of red pepper flakes. Repeat for additional salads, if needed. Enjoy promptly, as the salad will wilt over time.

*How to Make Homemade Balsamic Glaze

  1. Bring 1 cup (or more) runny balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small, thick bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring often, until the vinegar is reduced by approx. half, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Allow the reduction to cool, then transfer to an air-tight glass jar and store in the pantry.

More Uses for Thick Balsamic Vinegar or Balsamic Glaze

Look out, you may become a little obsessed (guilty!). This type of balsamic is so versatile and flavorful. Add a drizzle of balsamic to any of the following dishes:

  • Caprese salad
  • Cucumber, tomato and avocado type salad
  • Pizza, especially veggie pizza
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts or any roasted veggies
  • Plain greek or vanilla yogurt with fresh berries, cherries or stone fruit
  • Pork chops, burgers, seafood, and other meats

The key to this salad’s success is using thick balsamic vinegar, not regular runny balsamic. You can purchase balsamic “glaze” in many stores, though I recommend making your own at some point for added freshness.

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