Sweet Winter Arugula Salad with Candied Pepitas

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I learned a new technique and that was the whole reason behind creating today’s recipe. It’s been mentioned in the past but I often do meal delivery boxes during the week. They inspire me to eat well while teaching me new cooking techniques as well. They’re also a HUGE time saver throughout the week. I do still have a special code for SunBasket that I can share with all of you. I’ve had a few readers try and share really positive feedback on their tasty meals!

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Ok, back to the topic of my new cooking skill. Honeying nuts. Yes, honeying nuts is my latest and greatest talent to add to the resume. Who knew it was so easy to make those crunchy candied nuts I always love for salads! All it takes is a spoonful of honey and a dash of water over a sauté pan and you’re in business.

For this salad I used the same approach to honey pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and paired them with punchy dried cherries, peppery arugula greens and a sweet balsamic dressing. Break it out at dinner parties to wow your guests with your fancy toppings. I personally like to make a big batch at the beginning of the week to throw in my salads and occasionally a small handful may end up directly in my mouth rather than the bowl (I’m just sayin…)

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…all for the love of the dish

Missy

Sweet Winter Arugula Salad with Candied Pepitas

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Arugula
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 2 tbsp honey (I used raw honey)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • parchment paper

Instructions

  1. Heat a small saute pan over medium/low. Add the pepitas for about one minute or until fragrant and just slightly toasted. Add the honey and water and mix well with pepitas. Cook until the liquid has evaporated and all that is left is sticky seeds. This can take approx. 3-5 minutes. If it starts to burn or bubble, turn down the heat.
  2. Remove the pepitas from the pan and spread on parchment paper to let cool. About 15-20 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, compose the other ingredients of the salad. Mince the shallot and toss it in a large bowl with the arugula and cherries.
  4. Once the pepitas are cooled. Break them apart and add to the salad. Toss everything with balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

You can adjust the dressing ratio to your taste. If you like it more tart and tangy, add more balsamic. If you want softer notes to accentuate the greens more, then add some additional olive oil. It's really up to you!!

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