The Italians call it ‘Rucola’, the Americans call it ‘Arugula’, and the British call it ‘Rocket’. Whatever you decide to call it, there is no mistaking the peppery and slightly bitter taste of these leaves.
On its own, arugula’s flavor can be slightly overwhelming. A good way to serve it is by pairing it with mellow contrasting flavors. Here, I’ve dressed the leaves in a simple lemon and olive oil dressing, and served with slices of grilled halloumi and firm nectarines (or peaches).
HALLOUMI AND NECTARINE SALAD ON LEMONY ARUGULA LEAVES
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
good pinch of sea salt
6-8oz / 180-200g Halloumi, sliced (1 inch thick)
2 firm nectarines (or peaches), pitted and sliced into eighths
3oz / 80g arugula (rucola/rocket) leaves
- Prepare the lemon dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt. Taste and adjust as neccesary. [TIP: A good way to test a dressing is by dipping a piece of lettuce in it and tasting it.]
- If you have a griddle pan, brush it with a little olive oil and warm it on the stove on medium heat. If you don’t have a griddle pan, a frying pan will be fine (you just won’t get the grill lines.)
- While the griddle/frying pan is heating up, slice the Halloumi cheese into 1 inch thick slices. Cut the nectarines in half, remove the pit, and slice into eighths.
- When the griddle/frying pan is hot, add the Halloumi on one half of the pan and the nectarines on the other half. [Tip: If you do not want to grill the nectarines, you can also use them fresh in the salad.]
- Grill the Halloumi and nectarines for a few minutes on each side until they get slightly colored.
- Wash and dry the arugula leaves, and toss them with the lemon dressing just when you are about to serve the salad. Place the lemon-dressed arugula leaves on a plate.
- Arrange the Halloumi and nectarines on top of the lemon-dressed leaves, and serve immediately.