Thursday, May 20, 2010

Salad of the Week: Arugula Salad with Shaved Grana Padano Parmesan

Arugula Salad with Grape Tomatoes and Shaved Grana Padano Parmesan

We've been making this salad to go with our meals all week, thanks to Cindy.  It's delicious!  

Over the weekend, our friend, Cindy, was in town, and introduced us to a new version of Parmesan, which she discovered through another friend, Lisa's husband.  I love it when people pass on cooking finds.  This cheese comes in a tub, next to where you would find the Wegman's shredded Parmesan, but I never noticed it before. This one is SO MUCH better...

and it comes already shaved, ready for adding to your salad.

Cindy says this salad is tasty because the arugula itself has so much flavor, and to be sure to use grape tomatoes -- which are sweeter than regular tomatoes, the Grana Padano --which is better than regular Parmesan, and lots of salt in her tasty vinaigrette, which is a classic combination:  balsamic vinegar, good olive oil, a little Dijon mustard and salt and pepper.

Put the vinaigrette ingredients in the bottom of a bowl.  FYI -- those leaves are just a design in the bottom of my pottery.  I love this bowl.  Got it at the Corning Arts Festival a long time ago from an artist whose spouse was teaching at Alfred University.  It's great for salad for two.

Whisk your ingredients together until they emulsify.

Put your arugula on top and then toss the leaves in the vinaigrette until evenly coated.  Add the tomatoes and shaved Parmesan on top.  Toss again.

Serve.  If you aren't going to serve the salad for a while, just leave the dressing in the bottom of the bowl and toss it all together just before serving.  This keeps your arugula from getting soggy.

Grana Padano is similar to Parmigiano Reggiano, and is also from northern Italy.  It is less well known in the US but outsells Parmigiano-Reggiano by 10 to 1 in Italy, according to several sources on the web.  It comes from cow's milk. 

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