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Arugula Salad with Apples, Cranberries, and Pecans

This simple Arugula Salad with Apples, Cranberries, and Pecans is a perfect everyday salad and a great holiday side dish! Tossed with a basic Balsamic dressing, this salad will add fresh greens, fruit, and nuts to any dinner. The salad pairs well with grilled meats, baked chicken, pasta, and pizza dinners.

Arugula Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Pecans, and Balsamic Dressing

Made with basic ingredients, this apple arugula salad is a perfect sidekick to pretty much anything: grilled meats, pasta dinners, pork recipes, and steak. It’s also a great holiday salad that will make any dinner look even more festive on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year.

The recipe has only 6 ingredients and takes just 30 minutes to make!  My other salad favorites include an arugula salad with pine nuts and cranberry spinach salad with cashews and goat cheese.

Arugula Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Pecans

What is Arugula?

Arugula is an amazing leaf vegetable that should not be neglected in your salads. It has a fresh, peppery, almost mustardy flavor that is so unique and tasty. Arugula is also often called rocket, rucola, or roquette.

Arugula is most often used in different kinds of salads, as well as a topping for pizzas.  A very popular way to use arugula is in a salad with tomatoes and burrata cheese.

Nutritionally, arugula contains many dietary minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, and is an excellent source of many types of vitamins, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and folate.

Arugula Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Pecans

Salad Ingredients

  • Arugula.   Famous for its mustardy and almost peppery flavor, arugula is a popular green often used in salads and as pizza toppings.  Packed with flavor, arugula will add elegance and nutrition to your salad.
  • Apple.  Cored and diced apples provide color and a festive look to this salad.
  • Pecans.  Toasted pecans add a holiday flair and Autumn vibes to an arugula salad.   Pecans make this a perfect side dish to serve at your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.   They also provide healthy fats, protein, and are a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Dried Cranberries.  Another colorful and festive ingredient, dried cranberries add perfectly balanced sweetness to the salad.   Tip: Soak dried cranberries in boiling water for 5 minutes to plump them up and make the juicer.  The cranberries will add pretty colors and a festive look to an arugula salad.

Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • Balsamic Vinegar.  While you can use any type of balsamic vinegar, take this salad to the next level by using a high-quality, aged Balsamic vinegar made in Italy.  It is usually sold in specialized stores or foreign sections of some regular grocery stores.
  • Olive oil.  High-quality olive oil is recommended.  Use extra virgin olive oil that is meant to be used in salads and not for high heat cooking.

How to Make an Arugula Salad

The beauty of this salad is its simplicity.  Only 6 ingredients and 30 minutes of your time – and the arugula salad is ready in no time!

  • Combine arugula, apples, whole pecans, and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together balsamic vinegar and olive oil until emulsified.
  • Add balsamic dressing to the salad.
  • Toss to combine.
  • Top with chopped pecans.

Substitutions

  • Fresh Fruit. This salad works equally well with apples, pears, or mango. Pick your own fruit and enjoy! Any type of apple will work, but it’s best to use sweet kinds of apples, such as Fuji or Gala.
  • Nuts. Pecans are what makes this salad so perfect for Thanksgiving or the holiday season. However, it will also be delicious with walnuts or cashews. If you find candied pecans or candied walnuts in the grocery store – that’s even better!
  • Dried Fruit. If you don’t have or don’t like dried cranberries, replace them with any other small dried fruit. The best choices here would be dried cherries, blueberries, raisins, or chopped dried figs.

Arugula Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Pecans, and Balsamic Dressing

What Main Dishes Pair Well with Arugula Salad?

How to Store Arugula Salad

Store leftover arugula salad in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for a day or two, but no longer. Storing the salad will wilt the leaves and make pecans soggy, however, the salad will still be quite tasty. Tip: If you plan on refrigerating the salad for a day or two, don’t add nuts. Add nuts right before serving.

Can You Make This Ahead?

The arugula salad can be made ahead and served later.  Here is how to do it:

  • Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl (or a large airtight container) and keep it covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  • Separately, combine the salad dressing ingredients in a small airtight jar, and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • When ready to serve, toss the salad together with the dressing.

5 from 2 votes

arugula salad with apples, cranberries, and pecans

Arugula Salad with Apples, Cranberries, and Pecans

Prep Time

20 mins

Cook Time

10 mins

This simple Arugula Salad with Apples, Cranberries, and Pecans is a perfect everyday salad and a great holiday side dish! Tossed with a basic Balsamic dressing, this salad will add fresh greens, fruit, and nuts, to any dinner. The salad pairs well with grilled meats, baked chicken, pasta, and pizza dinners.

Course: Salad

Cuisine: American

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 200 kcal

Author: Julia

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients

  • 5 ounces arugula
  • 1 apple cored and diced (use large apples, such as Fuji or Gala)
  • 1/2 cup pecans lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup cranberries dried

Balsamic Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. To a large bowl, add arugula, cored and diced apple, cranberries, and half of the toasted pecans (1/4 cup).

  2. Chop up the remaining half (1/4 cup) of toasted pecan into small pieces. Set aside.

  3. In a small bowl, combine Balsamic vinegar with olive oil, until emulsified.

  4. Drizzle the Balsamic vinegar and olive oil mixture over the salad.  Sprinkle the salad with chopped toasted pecans.

    Note: you don’t have to use the whole amount of salad dressing.  Use just enough to drizzle.

Nutrition Facts

Arugula Salad with Apples, Cranberries, and Pecans

Amount Per Serving

Calories 200 Calories from Fat 144

% Daily Value*

Fat 16g25%

Saturated Fat 2g13%

Sodium 14mg1%

Potassium 259mg7%

Carbohydrates 14g5%

Fiber 3g13%

Sugar 9g10%

Protein 2g4%

Vitamin A 865IU17%

Vitamin C 9mg11%

Calcium 72mg7%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Source

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