This easy and delicious peppery arugula salad with Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette is made with a homemade honey-sweetened lemon balsamic vinaigrette topped with pine nuts and freshly shaved parmesan cheese. Naturally gluten-free, this simple arugula salad is easy to make and is the perfect salad to serve year-round.
When it comes to salads simplicity is best. This salad is full of fresh and bold flavors, that can be put together within minutes, perfect for entertaining or weeknight dinners. It's one of our favorite salads to serve year-round because it's so easily customizable to your liking. Healthy recipes do not have to be boring or take a lot of time to craft.
Arugula Salad Ingredients
This simple salad has only a handful of freshly prepared ingredients, flexible to your liking.
Fresh Arugula: Baby arugula leaves are harvested young for it's more petit and leaves. Arugula is slightly peppery and bitter in flavor, which pairs lovely with citrus.
Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated or shaved parmesan cheese brings a salty depth of flavor to the salad. Other options include goat cheese or manchego.
Pine Nuts: Toasted Pine nuts bring a wonderful texture to the salad, giving it a nice crunch. You could also use flaked almond or pumpkin seeds seasonally.
Lemon Vinaigrette: This simple lemon balsamic dressing is light and refreshing, giving this salad the perfect balance of flavors.
Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients
Most salad dressings are packed with loads of unhealthy ingredients that you can barely pronounce, but this simple lemon vinaigrette has only 6 ingredients and can be made in less than a minute. Please Note* This recipe makes twice the amount needed for the salad, use sparingly.*
Fresh Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemons give this vinaigrette the best flavor.
Balsamic Vinegar: Just a splash of balsamic vinegar adds tang without overpowering the lemon.
Olive Oil: Using high-quality extra virgin olive oil will bring a delicate flavor to the salad, and has wonderful health benefits.
Honey: organic honey is a wonderful way to add a touch of sweetness. For a Vegan option, feel free to substitute organic maple syrup.
Salt and Black Pepper: A pinch of kosher salt and black pepper to the top of the salad for flavor.
How to Make Arugula Salad
This easy arugula salad recipe takes less than a minute to prepare.
- Wash and dry thoroughly dry your salad leaves, and then place the arugula in a large serving bowl.
- Add the parmesan cheese and pine nuts to the bowl, and toss together until thoroughly mixed. Top with half of the vinaigrette, giving the salad a few more tosses. Sprinkle the top with salt, pepper, and more cheese.
How to Make Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette
Homemade salad dressing is always superior to store-bought. I love how clean the simple ingredients are in this homemade version. You will never need another vinaigrette recipe again!
- In a small bowl, combine the freshly squeezed lemon, balsamic, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Using a fork, vigorously whisk together the ingredients. Set the dressing aside until needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Balsamic Vinegar Gluten-Free?
Yes, traditional balsamic vinegar is made from grapes and is naturally gluten-free. Make sure to check the ingredient lists on the back of the bottles prior to purchasing. Often times cheaper brands may add sugar, artificial ingredients such as caramel color, and a non-gluten-free starch source, depending on the types of alcohol used. We recommend choosing a high-quality brand from your local health food store in a glass bottle.
Does Lemon Vinaigrette Need to be Refrigerated?
Yes, you can store this lemon vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To help preserve the flavor store this delicious salad dressing, store in an airtight glass container.
What Does Arugula Pair Well With?
Unlike other salad recipes, this classic arugula salad is one of our favorite easy recipes because of its simplicity and customization. This flexible recipe can be served as a main course or a simple side salad depending on the occasion. Its versatile flavor options pair well with most dinner, lunch, and brunch recipes, making it the perfect go-to side dish.
Here are just a handful of ingredients that pair well with arugula salad. You can adjust the ingredients seasonally to your liking:
Protein: Chicken Breast, Steak, Shrimp, Prochuitto, Hard Boiled Eggs, and White Fish.
Fruits: Fresh Strawberries, Juicy Cherry Tomatoes, Crisp Apples, Blueberries, Pear, Figs, Dried Cherries, and Creamy Avocado.
Vegetables: Red Onions, Potatoes, Bell Peppers, Squash.
Nuts and Seeds: Pine Nuts, Flaked Almonds, Walnuts, and Pecans.
Tips for the Best Arugula Salad
- Use half of the Lemon Vinaigrette for this recipe. Keep in mind that this lemon balsamic vinaigrette recipe makes double the amount you will need for the salad.
- Avoid soggy arugula leaves by adding the dressing to the top of the salad prior to serving. If the dressing separates, whisk together the ingredients prior to serving.
- Melt the honey in the microwave if it's too thick for mixing in the vinaigrette. Simply add the honey to a small microwavable bowl and microwave for 10 seconds, or until melted.
Recipes That Pair Well with Arugula Salad
- Gluten-Free Spinach Bacon and Leek Quiche
- Oven-Baked Spicy Italian Herb Chicken Thighs (Boneless, Skinless)
- Bacon-Wrapped Dates (Dairy-Free)
- Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Soup
Arugula Salad with Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 5 oz baby arugula (4-5 cups), washed and dried
- 2 oz shaved parmesan cheese (about ½ cup)
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts
- salt and pepper, to taste
Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon honey, melted
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- pinch salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl whisk together all of the ingredients: combine all of the ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Wash and dry the arugula leaves. Add the arugula to a large serving bowl along with the parmesan cheese and pine nuts.
- Toss with vinaigrette prior to serving. Top with freshly grated parmesan, salt, and pepper.