This simple lemon arugula salad with roasted carrots and Parmesan cheese is perfect for a simple, healthy lunch on a lazy day when all you feel like doing is propping your feet up and taking it easy. The carrots practically roast themselves in the oven and it doesn’t take but eight to ten minutes toss the croutons with a bit of olive oil until they are nicely browned. All that remains is assembly and you’re "good-to-go" as they say.
The original recipe called for parsley leaves, but frankly I thought they would be too strong for my taste, so I substituted peppery arugula. But I urge you to try the parsley for a change of pace. I toasted the croutons on top of the stove instead of baking them in the oven. After I discovered The Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s recipe for tossing the bread cubes in a pan on top of the stove, I swore I would never ever go back to the oven method again.
The peppery arugula goes quite well with the lemon vinaigrette and the Parmesan cheese gives the salad a nice salty bite. Roasting the carrots until they are slightly charred really brings out their sweetness. This salad also makes a nice vegetarian lunch. Enjoy!
Lemon Arugula Salad with Roasted Carrots and Parmesan Cheese
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living – serves 6
1 pound of carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 3” pieces
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more if necessary for croutons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sturdy bread, such as a country loaf, cut into 1” cubes
4 cups fresh arugula, also called rocket
¼ to 1/3 cup grated imported Parmesan cheese, plus more for shavings
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
French fleur de sel or coarse sea salt for finishing
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss the prepared carrots with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay carrots on a baking sheet in one layer and bake until slightly charred, turning once, about 50 minutes.
While the carrots are baking, heat a large non-stick sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Lower the heat to medium low and add the bread cubes and season with a little salt. Sauté the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add more olive oil if needed. When the cubes are browned, remove to a plate and set aside until time to toss the salad.
To assemble the salad, toss the arugula, roasted carrots, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan in a large salad bowl. Add croutons and season the salad with the fleur de sel or coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss again. Plate the individual salads and, with a vegetable peeler, shave some extra Parmesan cheese over each serving. Serve immediately.
A nice chilled glass of Chardonnay would go very well with this salad. This recipe is being linked to Miz Helen’s Country Cottage Full Plate Thursday and Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.