This Arugula Strawberry Salad is quite flavorful and it’s perfect to enjoy on a warm summer day. The sweetness from the strawberries balances out the pepperiness of the arugula and the saltiness from the cheese. The toasted hazelnuts add the nicest warmth while the hibiscus vinaigrette adds to the overall flavor.
Did you know that strawberries are not a fruit or a berry? They are actually a member of the rose family, an enlarged receptacle of the flower.
Enjoy this salad with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Rose or Sangiovese.
Arugula Strawberry Salad Recipe:
4 – 6 Servings
- 1/4 Cup Toasted Hazelnuts – ground – or to taste
- 8 Cups Arugula
- Strawberries to taste (I used 8)
- 1/4 Cup or more Roquefort, Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola
Hibiscus Champagne Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Dried Hibiscus Flowers
- 1/2 Bottle Champagne Vinegar (I used 12.7 oz. Napa Valley Naturals)
Hibiscus Vinaigrette –
You can make half of this recipe if you don’t want extra.
- 1/3 Cup Hibiscus Champagne Vinegar
- 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 2 Teaspoons Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 Small Shallots or 1 Tablespoon – minced
- 1 Large Garlic Clove or 1 Teaspoon – minced
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Prepare this 4 days to a week ahead. Add the hibiscus flowers to a jar and pour the vinegar over the hibiscus. Let sit for 4 days to a week. (I did a week) Strain into another jar. Save the hibiscus soaked flowers for other recipes.
While the nuts are toasting, make the vinaigrette.
In a bowl of a blender or food processor, add the hibiscus vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and pepper. Turn on the blender/food processor and slowly add the oil. (Or, add ingredients to a bowl and puree using an immersion blender.) Mince the shallot and garlic, and whisk them into the vinaigrette. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 – 14 minutes. In about 5 – 7 minutes stir the nuts so they toast evenly while also checking on the progress.
When hazelnuts are cool put in the center of a towel and pull corners of the towel together and roll hazelnuts around with some force till skins come loose. A small amount of skin will remain on the nuts and that is fine.
Sometimes, I separate the ones that the skins didn’t come off and put them back in the oven for a few more minutes.
Put the hazelnuts in a food processor and turn on until it’s a coarse grind.
Wash the arugula, slice or dice the strawberries, crumble the cheese with a fork and sprinkle on the arugula along with the ground hazelnuts and serve with the hibiscus vinaigrette on the side.
*Notes: If you don’t feel like making the hibiscus vinaigrette it is also great with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.
Arugula is a super food that cleanses the blood and detoxifies cells. It is an extremely high antioxidant making it a free radical absorbent and increases oxygen levels. It has a cooling effect on the body and contains 90% water so it keeps your body hydrated making it a great addition to the summer heat. Arugula has very high levels of chlorophyll, which helps with liver damage and contains phytochemicals that fight cancer-causing carcinogens. The leaves have an excellent source of vitamin A helping with vision, skin and respiratory health. It has good levels of vitamin C that’s great for cells and skin health. Arugula also contains decent levels of minerals, especially copper and iron. It has high amounts of calcium and vitamin K that strengthens the bones. Its high fiber content helps with colon health and reduces chronic inflammation as well. It is high in folate (B9), which helps to slow down the aging factors of the brain and supports your metabolism.
Strawberries are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Just one cup gives you 100 percent.” of the daily value of Vitamin C which is a great immune booster, helps improve the eyes and it produces collagen in the skin, which helps keep wrinkles at bay. The antioxidants and phytochemicals also help to reduce joints inflammation. They are high potassium and fiber making them great for your heart.
Hazelnuts are one of the only tree nuts with folate that may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and depression. They have a high concentration of oleic acid an omega-9 fatty acid that is known to prevent cancer, reduce blood pressure, prevent strokes and help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol that helps prevent heart attacks. They are also rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium, the minerals help regulate blood pressure. Hazelnuts are one of the richest in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that promotes healthy skin, hair and nails. They are also packed with B vitamins that bring energy to your cells and increase the metabolism. They are one of the few nuts that contain vitamin A, which is great for your eyes and are also high in dietary fiber and minerals like manganese, selenium and zinc.
*People who are allergic to peanuts, macadamia nut and/or Brazil nut might also be allergic to hazelnuts.