When I share with people that I’m a vegetarian, I sometimes get the following response. First, said person is totally shocked and then they will proceed with confusion, very often asking “what the heck do you eat? salad?” I generally laugh and assure them that yes, I eat lots of salad but that I eat an abundance of other foods too.
I honestly do love salad though, it’s quite a valuable invention. What’s not to love? It is so versatile and can adopt an array of flavors. Quite honestly, if being a vegetarian really did mean that all I ate was salad, I’d happily survive. Especially with the flavor and the love that this particular salad brings to the table!
Arugula, also known as Rocket, is a less common green but it is one of my personal favorites. As a member of the mustard family, arugula has a very distinct and delightful peppery flavor, tasting a bit like a radish. It not only boasts a beautiful flavor profile but it contains a bundle of benefits such as vitamins A, K, C, and some B-complex vitamins– including folate, a very important nutrient for overall health. Arugula also contains minerals such as iron and copper and it has an abundance of antioxidants! Yay for greens, they are so good to us.
This salad recipe is such a nice one for the fall, as it combines arugula with fresh, in season pears, toasted pecans, and caramelized onions—all coming together to create a great balance of sweet and savory.
Now let’s not forget the dressing, which is called My Favorite Dressing for a reason. This simple little combo never ceases to amaze. Seriously, it is full-proof. It’s got a beautiful flavor and it pairs nicely with any salad—or other savory dish for that matter. I love making it to just have on hand as I use it ALL the time in many different places. Long story short, I figured what better way to introduce it to you than atop this gorgeous salad? Because (as with most dishes) it fits perfectly!
- 1 bunch of fresh arugula (about 6 oz)
- 1 fresh, ripe pear
- 1 small-medium yellow or sweet onion
- ⅓ cup raw pecans
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup fresh orange juice
- 3 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 T tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
- 3 T tahini
- 1 T honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 small garlic clove
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined
- Thinly slice the onion, combine with 1 tsp of coconut oil in a frying pan and cook on low-medium heat for about 15 minutes or until caramelized (stirring relatively frequently, add more oil if needed)
- In a small frying pan lightly toast the pecans with a tiny bit of coconut oil and a sprinkle of salt (for about 5 min)
- Chop the pear into bite-sized pieces
- Turn off the onions, letting them cool down for a moment
- Wash and lightly chop the arugula, discarding the tougher portion at the base of the stems
- Combine arugula, onions, and pears in a bowl, tossing to mix
- Serve with a sprinkle of pecans, a drizzle of dressing, and perhaps some fresh ground black pepper
As I share this recipe with you, my hope remains the same as it does each time— that you will see the beauty and the ease in which plants can be prepared in a way that nourishes, inspires, and energizes health in a truly delicious way!
With health & heart,