This post is sponsored by juicy, crisp, beautiful California Grapes! Is that not the most fun thing ever?!
Look look look look look. 👆🏽
I’m gonna just tell you: That Tastes Really Good. It’s extra exciting to be sharing today’s arugula salad with you because
- You are down for the creative food combos that I dream up.
- You’re also lovers of whole, healthy food that TASTES SRSLY AWESOME (me too).
- We all like things that are generally weeknight-easy to make.
And this salad is all of that.
We’re starting with those bursty California grapes and tossing them with a big bowl of farro, cashews, arugula, pickled red onions (!), and basil FROM MY GARDEN THANK YOU VERY MUCH, but oh no – the fun won’t stop there. We are capping off this epic combo by drizzling a black pepper vinaigrette over the whole thing and calling it a Very Delicious Day.
And the star of this lush arugula salad… it’s obvi. The GRAPES! 🍇👈🏼
Like, hey/quick reminder/note to self – grapes really DO rock.
They are naturally sweet, deliciously healthy, and not only do they make the perfect What Do I Eat While Watching TV Snack — grapes are a must in all my salads from here on out.
Let’s talk about the origins of this party on a plate.
Once upon a time, I went to New Orleans.
I ate a lot of things, but one thing really latched onto my food brain: Black Pepper Vinaigrette. It doesn’t even make sense. In the land of beignets and jambalaya and southern fried chicken, I find (and become addicted to) a dressing. On a salad. Just kick me off this blog already.
To my credit, the salad was not really a REAL salad – it had peaches and nuts and don’t get weirded out but also really delicious pieces of raw fish called cobia 😬👌🏽 and then, as mentioned, a luscious black pepper vinaigrette. I came home to Minnesota, where I don’t eat raw fish salads or other brave things, like, ever, and said to myself: you must must must find a way to get that very basic, very wonderful Black Pepper Vinaigrette into your life.
On an arugula salad with grapes and cashews and pickled red onions and basil.
I mean, look at us.
Gosh, we grow up so fast.
As I sort of obsessively mentioned already, the grapes in this salad were ON POINT.
I have been on the hunt for California grapes ever since I learned that 99% of our grapes grown here in the US are grown in California – so when I found the ones that said “Grown in the USA” (they are now in season and get ready for 6 more months of this, baby) I knew they were the California gems I was looking for.
And those juicy little bursts of joy were more than delicious. I couldn’t even stop myself. If half of them actually made it into this arugula salad before getting nabbed by my snacking mouth, I would be doing pretty well with life.
TO SALAD BLISSDOM –>>
- ¾ cup red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup champagne vinegar
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 red onions, very thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 2½ cups red California grapes, halved
- 2 cups cooked farro or a gluten free alternative like quinoa (I found pre-cooked farro in the rice section of the grocery store and it worked great)
- 3 cups arugula
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- ½ cup chopped cashews
- Pickled Red Onions: Place the vinegars, water, sugar, and salt in a jar with a tight fitting - shake lid until well combined. Add the sliced red onions. Refrigerate at least 24 hours or longer for best flavor.
- Dressing: Place the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, pepper, and salt in a jar. Crush the garlic clove and just drop it in the jar in one or two pieces - the idea is that you'll still get some fresh garlic flavor infused into the dressing without the little pieces of raw garlic in the dressing when you serve it. :) Shake to combine. You can make this ahead.
- Assembly: Toss the grapes and farro with about half of the dressing. Add the arugula, basil, cashews, and a handful (however much you want) of the pickled red onions. Toss to combine. Add additional dressing if it needs any more - for me, the original amount of dressing was just about right. Let the salad sit for just a few minutes to really get it nice and yummy, soaking in that dressing.
For the nutrition I only counted half the dressing amount for 6 servings.
If making ahead, toss everything except the dressing, arugula, and basil. Those should be added right before serving.
Thank you to California Grapes for sponsoring this delicious arugula salad which I will now go devour for the 800th time mmmk bye.