This spicy arugula salad is a combo of different spicy salad plants, smoked tofu, dried wakame, goji berries, and fennel bulb. All swirled up in a tasty oregano-balsamic vinaigrette.
My dear friend, salad doesn't have to be the same old lettuce quickly mixed with vinegar and oil! I'm inviting you to explore new flavors and new salad species. Come on, let's go!
This spicy arugula salad is a combination of different spicy salad plants that you might have come across but you've no clue how you can use them.
I advocate for eating varieties of vegetables and fruits so that your body can have different rich nutrients to help it heal! And what is the best way to do so if not by trying new things? In this bowl of composed salad, you'll enjoy a dynamic of new flavors and textures.
While these salad leaves are peppery and spicy, the fennel adds a sweet-crunchy texture, the goji berries have a sweet note, the smoked tofu brings tenderness, whilst the balsamic vinaigrette folds this salad together with its sweet-tart flavor.
Add more crunchiness and sweet notes by throwing in some cashews or almonds.
Are you a fan of seaweeds? I like adding dulse, sea lettuce, or wakame in my salads or cooked dish. In this salad, I threw in some dried wakame. Wakame has a mild taste, when hydrated they acquire a silky-slippery texture, and a slight fishy smell, which you don't feel in this salad!
Seaweeds are a good source of minerals and vitamins, they're high in proteins while low in carbs. Don't hesitate to try them out, especially for their health benefits in preventing diseases.
This arugula salad goes well with roasted vegetables or a piece of bread.
What is arugula
- Popularly known as rocket in Europe, arugula is a peppery edible plant from the same family as cruciferous like broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc.
- Arugula is famous for its distinctive spicy flavor, making salads bold and delicious. Young arugula has a mild flavor, while mature leaves are slightly bitter.
- Rocket/arugula is high in vitamin K, antioxidants, and organosulfur compounds, which are anti-inflammatory.
- Also known as Japanese mustard greens, mizuna is a green vegetable related to cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, etc.
- They come in different varieties, about 16 of them. Mizuna varies in color and texture.
- Mizuna has a peppery spicy flavor, not as pronounced as that of arugula.
- Rich in antioxidants, mizuna is also high in vitamin A and K, which promote bone health.
Goji berries benefits
Have you ever eaten goji berries? While in Asia they may be consumed while still fresh, mostly you'll find them in their dry form.
- Goji berries are high in antioxidants that prevent your DNA from being damaged by free radicals.
- They are high in iron, vitamin A and C.
- Even though goji berries are high in carbs, they contain a good amount of proteins and dietary fiber.
- They have been studied for their potential health benefits as anti-aging, anti-radiation, anticancer, and immune boosters.
- Goji berries can promote the health of your liver, kidney, and vision if consumed regularly.
- A lab study has shown that regular consumption of goji berries can offer preventive effects against colitis (study done on rats).
Moutarde rouge Metis
- Ever heard or seen Moutarde rouge Metis? I'm sure it carries a different name in different countries.
- Moutarde rouge Metis (Brassica juncea) is a mustard leaf with intensely red sawlike leaves and green stems. It has a medium sharp mustard flavor.
- The young leaves are eaten raw in salads mixed with other salad leaves, while mature leaves can be steamed or cooked.
Have you come across mizuna or moutarde Metis in your groceries? What about goji berries, have you ever tasted any? Let's continue this chat in the comments below.
Meanwhile, eat a variety of foods to get the maximum of nutrients.
My love to you, Githu.
More Healthy salad
Spicy arugula salad with fennel and goji berries
- Big salad bowl
- small mason jar
- Chef knife
- Salad spoons
- a handful of arugula
- a handful of mizuna
- a handful of moutarde rouge metis (Brassica juncea)
- 2 small fennel bulbs or 1 medium size
- 200 grams smoked tofu
- some cashew nuts
- some dried goji berries
- 1-2 tablespoons dried wakame or a seaweed of your choice
Oregano balsamic vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoon cold pressed sunflower/olive oil
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- Mix all the ingredients in a small mason jar, close tightly,
- Shake well and set aside.
Compose the salad
- Cut the upper parts of arugula, mizuna, and moutarde metis from their stems, you can cut the leaves into bite-size. Discard the stems.
- Finely chop the fennel bulbs
- Cut the smoked tofu into cubes
- Bring all the salad ingredients into a bowl
- Shake the oregano vinaigrette, open the jar and pour the vinaigrette all over the salad
- Using salad spoons, toss the salad together
- You can serve this salad immediately or cover it and serve it later.
- This arugula salad goes very well with a piece of bread.
- I buy wakame that has been cut into small pieces. Consider the size of dry wakame when you're purchasing them as they increase in volume once rehydrated.
- I like throwing dry wakame in my salads instead of rehydrating them, this way they remain a bit crunchy without me getting that slippery texture they get once they are rehydrated. When I use them this way, I don't feel the fishy/ocean smell.
- Wakame is quite salted, be careful not to add too much salt to your vinaigrette! (especially if you're not hydrating them)
- The goji berries will soften if you don't serve the salad immediately, but this could be a good thing if you don't like their hardiness.