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Wilted Arugula Salad with Crisp Potatoes, Feta & Warm Black Olive Vinaigrette

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Serves 4 as a light main course or 6 as a starter.

  • To learn more, read:
    Warm Salads for Dinner
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 74

What's easier than a big, colorful salad for dinner? The potatoes go a long way toward making this dish feel like dinner, but to make it even more substantial, top it with a seared chicken breast.

  • 1/2 lb. baby arugula, washed and spun dry (12 loosely packed cups)
  • 3 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives (about 15), finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large russet potato (about 3/4 lb.), peeled and cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely diced red onion (1 very small)
  • 1/4 lb. feta, crumbled (scant 1 cup)
  • 1/2 lb. small ripe cherry (or grape) tomatoes, halved (1 heaping cup)

Put the arugula in a large bowl. In a food processor, pulse the vinegar, olives, mustard, and 1 teaspoon of the thyme. Processing continuously, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the olive oil and 3 Tbs. water to make a loose dressing. Transfer to a liquid measuring cup.

Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in a large (preferably 12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add the diced potatoes, sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown all over, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the pieces are just tender, another 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it’s soft and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme. Transfer to a bowl or plate.

Reduce the heat to low and pour the olive vinaigrette into the pan. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula until the vinaigrette is warmed through, about 1 minute. Return the vinaigrette to a liquid measuring cup and whisk to recombine.

Toss the arugula with about half of the vinaigrette or enough to lightly coat. Portion the arugula among four (or six) plates. Top with the potato and onion mixture and then the feta and tomatoes. Drizzle with some of the remaining vinaigrette (you may not need it all) and serve.

Serving Suggestions

If you opt out of topping the salad with a chicken breast, consider serving it with a bowl of Lemon Chicken Soup and crusty bread.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 300; Fat (g): fat g 24; Fat Calories (kcal): 220; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 6; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 18; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 540; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 15; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Easy and quick to prepare and a very satisfying main-course salad, even without the chicken. A topping of crisp pancetta is a lovely addition.

I topped this with thinly sliced grilled steak. I can honestly say this is THE BEST dinner salad I have EVER had. Whole family loved it.

This was pretty easy to make, used a mix of arugula and spinach, and topped it with grilled chicken. Great mix of tastes and textures! Go easy on the dressing its rich/intense! Will make this again!

This salad was so over the top. Everyone loved it! Can't wait to make it again. I mixed some baby greens with the arugula since not everyone likes this particular green. I warmed my dressing in the microwave. Mixed all my components with the dressing and then topped off each plate with the potato mixture and a scant drizzle of dressing on top. Used 3 small potatoes.

Loved it (my wife, sister, mom did too). Easy to make.

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