Nothing says summer like fresh baby arugula. Toss in some grapefruit and parmesan, and you might just have the best damn salad you’ve ever tasted. Best of all, it’s easy. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 Pink Grapefruit
- Parmesan cheese (shredded, not grated)
- Olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
Start with a generous mound of arugula. A serving that takes about two hands to scoop is perfect. Wash it, dry it, and toss it in a bowl.
Next, peel a large pink grapefruit as you would an orange, and over your salad bowl, pull out all the flesh from each segment. You’ll want to pull off the membrane to get all all the juicy cells. And the best part is: the messier it gets, the juicier your salad. Give any scraps a good squeeze before you toss them aside.
Then drizzle a nice extra-virgin olive oil over it all and splash a capful or two of apple cider vinegar into the mix. This is such a light salad that it’s better to err on the side of less, and add more if you think it needs it.
Lastly, throw in a few generous spoonfuls of shredded parmesan and toss. (I’ve always loved using my hands, but if you’re a fan of tongs, by all means, take the high road.)
As an added bonus, find a blue sky and a summer breeze for maximum eating enjoyment. Bon appétit.
Sure, fruits and veggies are great, but they’re not all created equal. Here are just a few more reasons to love this salad.
This ain’t no mamby-pamby lettuce. Arugula is in the brassica family, right up there with broccoli and kale. That means this little leaf really delivers on vitamins and minerals like A, C, K, and iron — and nearly 8x the calcium of iceberg lettuce. But unlike other “holier than thou” lettuce alternatives like spinach or beet greens, arugula is low in oxalate (or oxalic acid), which can actually inhibit mineral absorption in the body. And as if this salad weren’t perfect enough, some of the beneficial compounds in arugula are actually better absorbed when combined with good fats, like olive oil.
Don’t let its ubiquity distract you — the health benefits of olive oil are undeniable. Its heart-healthy phytochemicals reduce bad cholesterol and help prevent heart disease, and has natural anti-inflamatory properties thanks to a compound called oleocanthal. Better yet, olive oil’s high polyphenol content reduces the risk of certain types of cancers (specifically colon, breast, and prostate), and its almost 75% oleic acid fat content helps maintain stable blood sugar — ideal for diabetics. Moreover, it’s pure brain food! Olive oil helps to oxygenate the brain and better facilitate the transmission of impulses between cells — and, as one 2009 study found, with a considerable improvement to visual memory and verbal fluency. (Have enough olive oil and you really can say that three times fast.)
Grapefruit is jam-packed with antioxidants. I know that term has been overplayed a lot, but we’re talking a juice with some of the highest antioxidant activity around. Red and pink grapefruit are also high in lycopene, which fights against cancer. Grapefruits are also full of liminoids, a kind of phytonutrient that helps your liver to detoxify. And unlike other foods that contain liminoids, like chocolate or green tea, grapefruit’s liminoids can take up to 24 hours to break down — and spend that extra time working their magic throughout your body. Grapefruit’s also high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and dietary fiber — and best of all, contains a compound called naringenin that can actually help repair damaged DNA.
Parmesan cheese packs a punch in the flavor department, meaning a little goes a long way. That’s great news for people counting calories, especially when it comes to traditionally caloric-dense items like cheese. Ounce for ounce, it’s surprisingly high in protein, and even though it’s dairy, it’s a low-lactose food.
This salad has fast become one of my favorite things about summer. But enough of my ranting and raving… Try it for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below!
BONUS: Wash it down with a great little white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.