Arugula Salad With Parmesan
Emulsifying a dressing isn’t essential for a sublime salad: Instead, think of the oil and acid as seasonings for a vegetable. For this recipe, that’s spicy arugula, dressed with olive oil, lemon and shards of Parmesan to create a salad classic in many Italian restaurants and homes. But whether olive oil or lemon should come first, like all seemingly simple questions, is complicated. James Beard, Marcella Hazan, Deborah Madison and Judy Rodgers all concurred: For a brighter-tasting salad, start with olive oil, which better adheres the liquids to the greens and doesn’t obscure the lemon. Be sure to use full-flavored greens, then taste the dressed leaves and adjust seasonings until the arugula tastes like its greatest self.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4to 5 ounces baby arugula
- 1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 2teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- 2ounces Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Step 1Place the arugula in a very large bowl, ideally one that could hold twice as many leaves. Drizzle over the olive oil and use your hands to toss lightly, then add the lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Lightly toss the greens until they are evenly glossy; avoid overmixing or crushing the greens.
Step 2Add the Parmesan and toss just to incorporate. Taste. If the salad is too sharp, add another drop of oil and toss. If the salad is dull, add a sprinkle of salt and some lemon juice and toss. Eat right away.