A zesty lemon vinaigrette dresses this sweet & peppery apple arugula salad! Great as a side dish or add some chicken or steak to make it a meal!
When I see apples as an ingredient in a salad I will mentally categorize it as an “Autumn Salad.” But I kind of broke out of the seasonal mold with this one. I created a light, lemon forward dressing that screams “Spring/Summer” to me. In the end, I feel like this salad works year round!
Arugula adds a delicious, (but strong) peppery taste to salads, which is why I like to mix it in with romaine in order to tone it down a notch or two.
To make it a meal, you could grill some chicken breasts or steak and serve with garlic bread. I had some of this Balsamic Flank Steak leftover in the fridge and it paired beautifully with the apple arugula salad!
Suggested Article: how to build a meal-worthy salad!
How to Make Salads Sustainable
My friend and fellow Dietitian, Nita Sharda, recently posted some tips in an Instagram post, giving some tips to make eating salads sustainable. If you aren’t already, go follow her! She’s a gold mine of practical healthy eating tips.
One of her tips was to choose 3-4 salads/dressings to rotate through. I love this because…
… sticking with just one salad gets monotonous and you’re likely to abandon it quickly
… trying to always decide “what salad shall I make today?” out of the thousands of salad recipe options on Pinterest is overwhelming
Landing on 3-4 to rotate through is a great balance because you won’t get overwhelmed with decision fatigue but you won’t get bored of them easily either!
A Few Notes About How to Make this Apple Arugula Salad
One of the first steps in this recipe is to soak the apple slices in the lemon juice. This will keep the apple slices fresher for longer. I’ve kept this salad for a few days in the fridge and the apple slices hadn’t turned brown yet!
But the lemon juice does double duty and doesn’t go to waste! After helping to prevent enzymatic browning of the apple slices, it gets used in the dressing. Do you get a kick out of preventing food waste or is that just the Mennonite in me who does?!
The rest of the salad is fairly self-explanatory but we need to talk about that bacon. You can feel free to cook it however you want, but if you haven’t tried it yet, baking bacon is my new favourite, mess-free method! Admittedly, I prefer to do it this way if I’m already heating up the oven for something else. If not, my guess is that it takes less energy to cook it on the stovetop than heating up the whole oven. But if you have a little toaster oven, this method would be perfect!
First, you preheat the oven to 400°F. Then you place the bacon slices on a baking sheet and cover loosely with foil. Bake for 10 minutes and then drain the liquid. Keep cooking until your desired level of crispiness, checking every 5 minutes or so. I like my bacon “not quite crisp” so I cook mine for about 20-25 minutes. The time will also depend on how thick your bacon is cut.
Apple Bacon Arugula Salad
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 apple
- 4 cups arugula
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 3 tbsp dried cranberries
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cook the bacon either in a frying pan over medium heat or by baking in a 400° F preheated oven on a baking sheet covered loosely with foil for about 15-25 minutes (baking time depends on the thickness of the bacon slices and how crispy you want your bacon).
- Once the bacon has cooked, remove to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the extra grease. Allow to cool.
- In a medium sized bowl, place the lemon juice from the DRESSING ingredient list. Dice the apples and place in the bowl with the lemon juice. Toss to coat. Set aside for a few minutes.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the arugula, chopped romaine, celery, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and green onion.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the apples slices and add to the salad, reserving the lemon juice in the bowl.
- Whisk together the lemon juice with the rest of the dressing ingredients.
- Once the bacon has cooled, slice into bite-sized pieces. I find kitchen scissors work best. Add the bacon to the salad.
- Just before serving, toss the salad. Allow each person to spoon dressing onto their salad. If there are leftovers, the salad keeps better undressed.