BY SHALEEN DESTEFANO

It’s January, and if you’re like me, your body is craving a break from dairy, sugar and carbs and is aching for something green and fresh. Arugula my friends, is the star in all of my favorite salads. But if you’re not a fan, use spinach, bibb, butter lettuce, whatever you favor. It doesn’t really matter with the three recipes below, as they are simple and crowd pleasing, the two most important elements of any salad, if you ask me. So test run these, and play with the recipes. Add any ingredients you like and give your body a much needed plate of greens! 

Arugula Hazelnut Fig Salad

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 heaping tablespoon fig jam

2 tablespoons red onion minced

salt & pepper

5 oz. (about 6 cups) arugula

1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts chopped

1/4 cup shaved Parmegiano Reggiano cheese

In a small jar mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fig jam and red onion. Season dressing with salt & pepper. Lid jar and shake until dressing is well incorporated. In a large bowl, toss the arugula and hazelnuts with the dressing. Add the shaved Parmesan, lightly toss and serve in two large bowls.

Reset Button Salad

Ingredients:

7 cups arugula

1 1/2 cups cooked red quinoa

1/2 English cucumber chopped

1 cup shredded beets

1 cup shredded carrots

2 green onions, thinly chopped

3/4 cup toasted walnuts

1/3 cup crumbled feta (totally optional)

for the dressing:

7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt & pepper

In a large bowl, toss arugula, quinoa, cucumber, beets, carrots, green onions, walnuts & feta together. In a small jar, mix oil and balsamic together with a pinch of salt & pepper. Put the lid on jar and shake a few times to emulsify dressing. Drizzle dressing on top of salad and toss to combine. Season with pepper and serve immediately.

Arugula Fennel and Orange Salad

Ingredients:

4 cups arugula

2 oranges, segmented

1 medium bulb fennel, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon brown sugar (more or less depending on your taste)

salt & pepper

Place arugula, orange segments and sliced fennel in a large salad bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix olive oil with orange juice, white wine vinegar brown sugar & a dash of salt & pepper. Pour dressing over the salad and toss well. Top with fresh ground pepper & serve. Notes: use one of the oranges leftover from segmenting & squeeze the juice from it for your dressing; try champagne vinegar in the dressing; goat cheese would be a good addition to the salad if you are looking to turn it into an entrée.

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