Arugula, Grilled Pineapple & Walnut Salad
The bitterness of the Arugula, the caramelized sweetness of the Pineapple and earthy crunch of the Walnuts complement each other well; if you time it so the Walnuts are still warm, it’ll add another taste dimension. For a more substantial salad, add some Grilled Chicken or Prawns.
Baby Arugula, enough for 2 – judge amount by how hungry you are
Grilled Pineapple, about 1 cup – use rings or spears; if you don’t have fresh, use canned but be sure to drain it well before grilling on the bbq or grill pan
Toasted Walnuts, 1/3 cup should probably do. If they’re large pieces and you want to cut them to your liking, cut only after dry toasting them in a small skillet. If you cut them before toasting, they’ll overcook quickly and taste, well… burned
Vinaigrette, I’d use a Honey & Dijon here; use your own favourite, that’s light in taste
Fresh Basil, cut chiffonade; roll up a couple leaves like a cigar, and thinly slice
In a large bowl, toss the arugula with enough dressing to coat and DON’T skimp on this important step. It’s a restaurant trick for a reason! Don’t forget to season with salt & freshly ground pepper.
Then, take 2 large plates and arrange the dressed & seasoned arugula. Next, layer the pineapple, scatter the toasted walnuts & the basil. If you like, drizzle a bit more vinaigrette on top.
If you don’t have the above ingredients, use what you have. Any hearty lettuce or mixed greens will do, peaches, plums or pears would be fantastic, as would almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts…
Easy peasy, as Jamie Oliver would say! (BTW, I think he’s a kitchen genius and that was before I ate in one of his restaurants: the fab-u-lous Jamie’s Italian, in London, UK.)