Salad, Salad, Salad it is what I am craving right now. Over the holidays we did a lot of eating and while we were in New York City we ate even more, but how can you not eat fabulous food while in NYC?  Next to Paris it is the best eating city in the world, in my opinion.  So needless to say I need to eat some salads, but I think that homemade salads are hard to make.  Why??  Im not sure.  I go out to restaurants and pay $18 for a salad that is just kale, rotisserie chicken with some almonds thrown in there and it seems to taste better.  So, I am on a mission to come up with some delicious salads that are easy, satisfying and filling and this is my first one.

This salad is a great base for any protein or by itself as a light lunch or side dish.  My husband LOVES salmon so I buy a piece for him and throw it on this salad or I will sauté some shrimp or shred a rotisserie chicken and toss it in there.
A few quick tips about homemade salads… First, make your own dressing!  It is not hard and it makes all the difference in the world. Less sugar, less sodium, just less.  BUT, you must use good quality olive oil. Make a trip to your high end grocery store, for me it is Central Market, but for some it may be Dean and Deluca, Wegmens, Draeger’s…. Buy a few small bottles (you only have to do this once to know what you like) or many times these stores have samples for you to taste. You are looking for a round, full bodied, sweet oil with a very slight tang.  If the oil tastes bitter to you then it is going to taste bitter on your salad. Second tip, is use Kosher salt not table salt.  Table salt is too salty.  I know that sounds strange, but its true. Do a taste test and you will see what I am talking about.  And third, if a recipe calls for herbs use fresh. Dried are just not the same.  Remember that a dressing is not cooked so you want the very best ingredients.  It will make a difference, I promise!
A note on peeling oranges with a paring knife.  It is not hard!  Just use a very sharpe small paring knife. Cut the ends of the orange off and set it up so the orange is a flat surface.  Begin at the top and just run your knife down along the orange in between the flesh and pith (the white part of the peel).  Continue around until all the peel is off.
Hope you enjoy this salad! Send me your thoughts or ideas for salads-I would love to try them and will feature them on the site if they pass the teenage test:).  Yes my teen boys love salad.  They request it all the time for dinner, but for the love of God do not put sushi in front of them:)


Winter Arugula Salad

Makes 5 large servings or 10 side salad servings

1 large box of Arugula (about 14oz)
4 Oranges 
3/4 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled

1 large lemon, juiced
1/2 large orange, juiced or 1/4 cup orange juice
1 Tablespoons finely minced onion, preferably red or shallot
3/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

In a lidded jar or small bowl, combine dressing ingredients.  Shake well and set aside.

Peel the oranges using a paring knife so you cut off the white pith. Then slice into 1/4" thick rounds. Cut each round in half or quarters.

Combine arugula, oranges, cranberries and blue cheese in a large salad bowl.  Toss with dressing to your liking.  You will NOT use all the dressing.

* It is VERY important you use a good olive oil.  Since you are not cooking this oil you will taste the full flavors of the oil. Spend the money and buy a good quality-it will make all the difference in the world.
* If you don't like blue cheese sub it out for goat cheese.

Needed Items