I subscribe to a CSA, and in my box in the early part of the summer, there is always plenty of arugula. So much arugula, in fact, that I run out of things to do with it. When this happens, I feel compelled to abandon creativity and revert to simplicity.
This salad has two main ingredients, and only four additional items from the pantry: arugula, sliced strawberries, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. That’s it. That’s all that’s necessary. Strawberries, balsamic, and black pepper are a classic combo. The peppery arugula amplifies the heat of the black pepper and complements the sweetness of the strawberries and balsamic perfectly. A little salt and olive oil completes the picture.
It doesn’t hurt if you let the everything sit for a bit before tossing with the arugula. I’d suggest slicing the strawberries and tossing with the salt, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil. Then wash up and spin dry your arugula and the strawberries will be perfect. The salt pulls some of moisture out of the fruit, which gets mixed into the vinaigrette.
Although strawberries work really well in this recipe, if I dare call it that, another fruit could be substituted. I’d consider tomatoes to take it more savory, or perhaps peaches, pineapple, or watermelon to keep it more on the sweet side. You can’t go wrong. If you felt like gilding the lily, some soft goat cheese would be lovely.