Combining arugula with kiwifruit (kiwi for short), strawberries and pecans makes an exceptionally colorful, flavorful and healthy salad that is sure to delight.
Arugula, an increasingly popular salad green from the Brassica family (think mustard greens, kale, cabbage, cauliflower) has a peppery, mustard-like flavor. Although arugula originated in the Mediterranean region, it is now grown in most parts of the world and is found in supermarkets and farmers’ markets. Arugula is sold either loose with smaller leaves that have a milder flavor or banded in bunches with larger leaves that have a slightly more bitter flavor. Being rich in iron, potassium and vitamins A, C, K and folate, this dark leafy green adds nutritional punch to salads.
Kiwi and strawberries add contrasting yet complementary sweet flavors to the arugula and are excellent sources of vitamin C. Sliced kiwi with its delicate starburst pattern adds a unique aesthetic appeal to this salad in addition to succulent flavor. Most people associate kiwi with New Zealand, but it actually originated in China and was known as Chinese gooseberry. Today, China, Italy, New Zealand and Chile produce large quantities of kiwi, but over 90 percent of the U.S. crop comes from California.
When buying kiwi look for those that are unblemished and firm and yield slightly when pressed. If too soft, then the flavor is beyond its peak. Kiwi size is unrelated to flavor. Firm kiwis will ripen at room temperature and ripe kiwis can be stored in the refrigerator to prevent them from becoming over ripe.
The salad dressing features orange and lime juices, zest of an orange, honey, olive oil, fresh cilantro and paprika, making it light and refreshing. Allow the dressing to stand before serving so the unique flavors mingle into an aromatic delight. Topping the salad with toasted pecans adds another delicious layer of crunch, color and fiber, protein and vitamin E. Serve this salad with grilled chicken and corn on the cob for a satisfying summer meal.
Arugula Salad with Kiwi, Strawberries and Pecans
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (lemon may be substituted)
1/4 tsp. paprika
Zest of one large orange
1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups baby or regular arugula
4 green onions, sliced thin, including green stems
4 kiwi, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups fresh halved strawberries
1/3 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
In small mixing bowl whisk together orange juice, honey, lime juice and paprika. When well combined slowly add oil and continue whisking until mixture is smooth. Stir in zest and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and allow dressing to stand for a minimum of 10 minutes for flavors to mingle.
On large serving platter or in large salad bowl spread arugula and sprinkle with green onions. Arrange kiwi and strawberries slices on top. Just before serving drizzle salad with dressing and garnish with pecans.
Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 169 calories, 9 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 22 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 8 mg sodium.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $100 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.