For the most part, I’m more than happy to stick to my native dialect of English (mid-Atlantic American, thank you very much), but there is one item in particular where I can’t help but prefer the British word. Rocket. Called arugula in American English, this leafy green (probably my favorite) deserves all the excitement conjured by references to space travel. Rocket has been touted as an aphrodisiac and is full of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium. And the rich spicy taste can’t be beat. Some may find it a little too peppery (it is often mixed with other greens for this reason), but in the context of this salad, the flavor of the rocket is in perfect balance with the other ingredients.
This rockin’ rocket salad hits every taste bud – the mix of salty, sweet, sour, and savory elements are what lend balance to the rocket’s bitterness. Goat cheese and bacon provide the saltiness while the sweetness comes from the honey and pomegranate molasses in the vinaigrette. The pomegranate molasses also adds a sour note, as do the preserved lemons. Tomatoes round out this salad with a savory touch.
Rockin’ Rocket Salad
Yield: 4 appetizers or 2 entrees
- 1/2 lb rocket (arugula)
- 1 pint pear tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 preserved lemon, peel only, diced
- 3 – 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled into bits
- pomegranate mustard vinaigrette (see below)
- Combine 1/2 lb rocket (arugula), 1 pint pear tomatoes, halved, and 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced.
- Top with 1 preserved lemon, peel only, diced, 3 – 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled, and 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled into bits.
- Pour pomegranate mustard vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine.
Pomegranate Mustard Vinaigrette
Yield: approximately 1/2 cup salad dressing
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 Tbsp honey
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- In a small bowl, add 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard, 1/2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses, 1/2 Tbsp honey, and salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk briefly to combine.
- Slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil, whisking constantly to create an emulsion. Taste, and adjust ingredients if needed.