It’s probably an exaggeration to say that the dressing makes the salad. Still, a carefully mixed dressing can turn a simple collaboration of arugula with a few shavings of Manchego into something more than the sum of its parts. The trick, of course, is getting the balance just right. Salad dressings are all about sweet and sour, or agrodolce as the Italians call it. Even the simplest vinaigrette of fruity olive oil and sharp vinegar follows this formula. For me, it’s the most addictive flavor combination and the definition of a good green salad. In the case of this peppery arugula salad, I think that a peppy Cherry Vinaigrette seems a natural pairing.
I bring this up because we’ve all been there. You’ve made a fabulous meal. But you’ve spent all your time on the main event. Suddenly it occurs to you that there’s nothing fresh and green on the plate. Maybe there’s fresh and maybe there’s green. But my metabolism requires fresh and green.
Cherry Vinaigrette for a Simple Salad
Enter the simple green salad. It can be just a handful of fresh arugula leaves, which doesn’t need much more than a vinaigrette to make it special. But what kind of vinaigrette?
Well, for me, the combination of sweet, tart, juicy cherries next to the spicy bite of arugula works really well. After that, all you need is a salty hit of aged Manchego cheese to add that hint of animal funk. GREG