there's a grocer downstairs in the st. lawrence market, harbour organics, that sells wild arugula for $9.99/lb. which i cringe at all the time, even knowing how much i love this lettuce. it just sounds expensive. but i purposely bought a big bag on friday, knowing i was entertaining the next night, and even asked them to fill the bag when i saw it weighed under a pound (you can buy as much or as little as you like). i took it home and washed it, and dried it. and then put about 70% of it away because a pound of arugula is a LOT!! way more than i imagined. i could have easily made a salad for 8 people with that perfectly clean, fresh lettuce. compare that to a box or organic baby arugula from the grocery store, about $6, which after cleaning and discarding wilted or damaged leaves feeds about two and doesn't have the sweeter taste and feathery texture of a forkful of my new favourite wild arugula and i'll cringe no more.
but whether you get your hands on wild, young or regular arugula, you're on your way to having a lovely salad in minutes with this recipe. this is a dead-easy, 10-minute-including-prep-time salad that with a slice or fresh bread, or the addition of white beans, or as a side to whatever else you're having, makes a perfect summer dinner. i first shared this recipe in the spring via the lovely people at iVillage's food channel. but it's just the thing for a hot, sticky week like this one, that zaps me of energy and the will to make anything requiring thought for dinner. all that's required is some healthy greens, some cucumber for crunch and a sprinkling of soft, fresh goat cheese.
update: this recipe fits in with the current summer fest theme so i get to participate! check out the sites of the great bloggers/hosts for delicious-looking recipes that are right in season:
A Way to Garden, Matt Armendariz of Mattbites, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, and Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple, with guest appearances from Shauna and Daniel Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl, Simmer Till Done’s Marilyn Pollack Naron, and Paige Smith Orloff of The Sister Project.
arugula, celery and chevre salad
6 cups (loosely packed) arugula, washed and dried
1 large stalk of celery, sliced crosswise very thinly (about 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup fresh chevre
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
in a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. whisk together until the dressing emulsifies. add arugula and celery to the bowl and toss or mix with your hands to coat well with the dressing.
turn out leaves and celery on to a serving plate, making a bit of nest in the middle. crumble the chevre into the centre and serve.
makes 4 small or 2 large servings.