This past weekend the weather actually warmed up a bit in Chicagoland, I think it actually hit 60 degrees at one point. Not bad for early March. It motivated me to start embracing the warm weather and begin breaking out some Spring recipes, the first of which is this delicious and simple Spring Arugula Salad with Homemade Balsamic Dressing. It is the perfect Spring lunch, and is great as a side or an appetizer for dinner as well. This easy salad has 5 ingredients:
- Goat Cheese
- Red Onion
The homemade dressing is just as simple, and it takes this salad to the next level of salad greatness. It’s a simple balsamic dressing made with two parts olive oil and one part balsamic vinegar. I also threw in a touch of honey, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper for good measure.
One note to call out sooner than later, if you are looking to make this a full meal I would add some sliced chicken breast on top. This Spicy Soy Sauce Basil Chicken would work really well. If you only want this salad as a side or an appetizer then you can probably go sans chicken and it will work out. I had this as a nice appetizer before dinner on Sunday night. ‘Twas good.
All of the ingredients in this salad are stars. They’re like the 2019 Cubs, everyone has a roll to play. Though, if one ingredient did stand out, it would definitely be the goat cheese. For one, goat cheese is delicious. More importantly though, in this salad particularly it really comes alive when mixed with the dressing and helps make everything a little more creamy and delicious.
The great part about this salad is you can customize it however you want to! I definitely recommend you stick with the ingredients below (they work great together), but if you have pecans instead of pistachios, or enjoy feta more than goat cheese, or saw that blueberries were on sale not strawberries, then make the swap! The best part of cooking at home is that you can prepare food however you want. No need to feel self conscious asking the waiter to make a sub.
Let’s get economical with this Spring Arugula Salad with Homemade Balsamic Dressing:
- 1.5 cups of arugula – $1.50
- 4 oz of sliced strawberries (about 3-4 strawberries) – $0.37
- 1 oz of goat cheese – $1.00
- 1/8 cup chopped pistachios – $0.49
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion – $0.18
The total for the salad is $3.54, but you also have to factor in the cost of the dressing:
- 2 tbsp olive oil – $0.34
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar – $0.10
- 1/4 tsp dijon mustard – $0.01
- 1/4 tsp honey – $0.02
- salt and pepper
The dressing will run you $0.47, bringing your salad total to $4.01. If you are looking to get two full meals it will cost $2.00 per person, but if you are just using it as a side dish or appetizer you can get about 4 servings out of this or $1.00 per serving.
If you decide to add chicken breast, it will cost you about $3.24 additional (for 1/2 lb). This would bring the salad to $7.25, or $3.63 per person for two full salads. When was the last time you saw a salad with goat cheese AND strawberries AND pistachios AND fresh chicken breast for under $10, let alone under $5! These are savings I can get excited about.