Arugula Salad with Roasted Cherries and Goat Cheese

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This recipe for Arugula Salad comes from The Healthy Mind Cookbook by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson. Each of Katz’s recipes is derived to harness the latest research in brain science. Not only are they delicious, but ingredients are carefully selected to improve memory, sharpen the central nervous system, improve mood and more.


• 12 cherries, pitted and halved
• 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
• Pinch of sea salt
• 4 cups tightly packed baby arugula
• 1 cup thinly sliced fennel
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• 6 tablespoons Meyer Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
• ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
• ¼ cup goat cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a bowl, toss the cherries with the olive oil and salt. Place the cherry halves cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 5 to 6 minutes, until they just begin to soften.

Put the arugula, fennel, warm cherries, and parsley in a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top and toss again. Scatter the almonds and goat cheese over, and serve.

VARIATIONS: Substitute toasted walnuts for the almonds. If cherries are out of season, skip the roasting and use 1 cup of blueberries.

COOK’S NOTE: A mandoline (not to be confused with a mandolin, which is a stringed musical instrument) is a handy kitchen tool that allows you to slice vegetables to a uniform thickness; it’s perfect for the fennel in this recipe, which needs to be sliced very thinly. There are many inexpensive models available at kitchen stores and online.

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Meyer Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
MAKES ABOUT ½ CUP • PREP TIME: 5 minutes 

• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
• ½ teaspoon sea salt
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon minced shallot (optional)

Put the balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking all the while, and continue whisking until smooth. Transfer to a small container with a fitted lid and shake well.

COOK’S NOTES: Add the salt with the acid but prior to adding the oil. The reason? The acid breaks down the salt, allowing it to do its job as a flavor carrier. The Meyer lemon is milder and sweeter tasting than most store-bought lemons. If you don’t have Meyer lemons, use 2 tablespoons of lemon juice combined with 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed tangerine or orange juice. As for the zest, regular lemon zest is an acceptable substitute.

Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

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