The lightest most satisfying vegetarian arugula salad packed with rocket (rucola) leaves, meaty walnuts, earthy red onions, hints of feta, nutty asparagus vegetables, tasty pears and topped with a savory sweet mandarin orange salad dressing. Perfect for a spring brunch or dinner especially when the evenings are lighter longer!
Who else is crazy excited about day light savings this weekend?! It has got me all like “Whowza!” over and over again! Especially when thinking about warm spring and summer BBQ’s, playing outside till it is dark at 9:00pm and catching gorgeous glowing lightening bugs to stuff them into jars until they are set free!
The nights are light out longer (and warmer in most parts of the country), flowers are starting to bloom and everyone is overall in a jolly good mood!
The boys and I totally have spring on our minds. In fact Curren and I stopped for protein ice cream today and both the boys and I have freshened up our patio set with a new coat of paint and cushions ready for day light savings!
Next up are spring meals starting with what is in season as soon as Spring hits.
As I am slowly crawling out of my comfort crock pot soups and meals I am ready to start feeling clean and lean with refreshing salads. Are you ready to get clean and lean with me friends!? Oh please hang with me!
Let’s start with gathering what fruits and vegetables are in season this spring (March, April and May). Buying them now will ensure the most delicious salad when you use the freshest seasonal ingredients!
What Fruits and Vegetables Are In Season In The Spring?
Strawberries (just starting!!!)
Vidalia Onions (sweet and delicious!)
How to make the best Arugula Salad?
There is no science to the best arugula salad but you do want to ensure making sure all ingredients compliment one another. Arugula leaves are lightly tangy and bite sized. They go so well with other bit size ingredients so make each ingredient similar to a chop salad (like chop the pear super small) or you can just chop the whole salad small after it is mixed together!
I actually prefer a chop salad over any other because all the flavors mix super well together and if you do not feel like doing the work chopping, arugula leaves are tender enough that they have the same “small bite/chopped effect” since they are so tiny.
Here is a fun fact for ya! Arugula runs in the same family as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts and are super good in aiding to cancer preventing and increasing athletic performance. Leafy green vegetables like arugula are among the top sources of high in nitrate which help increase oxygenation.
Arugula salad is my favorite salad because it actually has less iron than spinach so it is a lighter option for any one with high iron or Hemochromatosis. I have inherited high iron so no beans or spinach for me these days! It is the main reason I eat gluten free, because most gluten free breads and pastas do not have additional minerals containing iron.
Ok, back to this tasty arugula salad with the best orange salad dressing! The dressing is what makes this salad because the tang of the arugula leaves taste so divine with the sweetness of orange dressing. Pears are not quite in season as they are more a winter food… but still bring out even more sweet and tangy zest! Quite tasty with feta and all these other comforting ingredients!
Just whisk together all the the natural ingredients or olive oil, lemon, orange juice, oregano, salt and pepper! I literally was drinking it out of this glass to make sure it tasted good just by itself. One sip, then another, then another. I think my skin thanked me.
This arugula salad is perfect for Easter brunch recipes, add it to your best salad recipes, and it is a delicious side that pairs well with your favorite main dish! Especially steak or pork (which I don’t eat) – so I might drool over you having the delicious combo!
Arugula Spring Salad With Asparagus & Mandarin Orange Salad Dressing
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup asparagus diced
- 1 mandarin orange peeled
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1/4 red onion slices
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1 concorde pear diced
- 2 oz. gluten-free croutons optional
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons juice from a mandarin orange or orange juice
- 2 Teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano freshly chopped
- In a mason jar or cup add all the dressing ingredients and whisk well. Set aside.
- In a large bowl layer the arugula, asparagus, mandarin orange, feta cheese, red onion, walnut pieces and diced Concorde pears. Drizzle with your mandarin orange salad dressing the desired amount (start with half and add more if needed). Serve on 2-4 plates. Top with gluten-free croutons (optional).
*Using fat free Feta or no cheese lessens saturated fat.
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 32 g||49 %|
|Saturated Fat 7 g||33 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 13 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 9 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 32 mg||11 %|
|Sodium 546 mg||23 %|
|Potassium 237 mg||7 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 34 g||11 %|
|Dietary Fiber 4 g||14 %|
|Sugars 21 g|
|Protein 7 g||15 %|
|Vitamin A||17 %|
|Vitamin C||19 %|