Arugula Salad with Blue Cheese and Almonds
This arugula salad is a crowd pleaser. There is something about the combination of the blue cheese, arugula and toasted almonds that just works. I’ve served it to people who claim to hate blue cheese (I do recommend using a milder blue cheese) and they unknowningly just gobble it up. I’ve also converted nut haters to nut lovers. I will say that I do love to add a dash of truffle oil to the dressing and use a high end french brown mustard (Pommery Mustard Meaux Moutarde) I buy in bulk on amazon.com.
The former is not necessary to please a crowd if you are one of those people that thinks that truffle oil is a synthetic, worn out farce of an ingredient. I personally continue to enjoy it on occasion despite the fact that it has fallen from foodie graces. The latter (photograph above) makes the dressing dynamite, but Grey Poupon will still do the trick if that’s all you got.
A key point of this recipe is taking the toasted almonds directly from the pan and pouring it over the salad with the extra oil infused with almond to the mix. I do not recommend making the almonds ahead of time and letting them sit around in a separate container. I usually make the whole salad and then do the almonds at the end and toss just before serving.
- 1 container of pre-washed baby arugula
- 6 Campari Tomatoes (cut in 6 or 8 pieces depending upon size)
- 2 tbsp blue cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼-1/3 cup almonds, toasted in olive oil on stove top
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown mustard
- ½ tsp truffle oil (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine arugula, tomatoes and blue cheese in salad bowl.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in small non-stick pan (to coat) on medium heat. Toast almonds for approximately 4 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until sizzling and starting to brown. Careful, the moment the browning begins you've got about 3-60 seconds to take it off the heat.
- Pour the nuts and oil directly on top of the arugula, tomatoes and blue cheese (key step because you've added the essence of the almonds to the hot olive oil!).
- Combine dressing ingredients and whisk together so that the mustard is evenly distributed. Dress less than 10 minutes before serving.