Something possessed me to buy wild arugula at Trader Joe’s the other evening. I think the package screamed something about vitamins and calcium.
I made an amazing summer salad yesterday mixing the arugula and some romaine lettuce and topping it with feta cheese (really inexpensive at Trader Joe’s), sun dried tomatoes in oil (also from Trader Joe’s), and walnuts (also from Trader Joe’s). Are you sensing a theme? I love Trader Joe’s for all the little goodies they have that are inexpensive, flavorful, and really make cooking fun!
Learn more: Save 1,000s with Menu Planning
Anyway, I digress. My girls had a playdate yesterday afternoon, it was so oddly quiet, that I decided to cook. I baked some split chicken breasts* with some simple spices (ground rosemary – try it you’ll love it I swear! salt, pepper) and some butter.
I also had a GINORMOUS bag of rice I got at Costco, so I decided to pull out my trusty stock pot (favorite kitchen item), and make a HUGE amount of rice. I ended up freezing some, and the rest will be here while I’m gone to help even out meals my mom will be cooking, like nachos. Plus my 7 year old LOVES rice. Seriously she could eat it all day, especially when it’s been cooked in broth and has Parmesan cheese on it. Yum.
I made the kids plates of food and then had to do 6 chores while they were eating, plus I spun plates. Really I just needed to take care of the dog, which is the same thing. While I was standing in the kitchen watching the dog eat I started thinking. I fondly remembered a dish my sister made with rice, spinach, feta and tomatoes. (maybe there were olives or capers too?)
Inspiration struck (believe me this is rare in my kitchen!), and I made this delicious summery salad. It’s absolutely perfect for a picnic, or warm afternoon. Serve it cold.
Try another recipe: Kale Coconut Salad
Summer Salad Recipe With Arugula, Sun Dried Tomato, Chicken And Rice
All measurements are estimates. You can use more or less as you prefer.
- leftover cooked rice (I used 4 cups)
- arugula (2 cups), torn into small pieces
- feta cheese (about 4 ounces crumbled)
- sun dried tomatoes in oil, make sure to pour some of the oil from the jar on, this acts as a dressing (I used half a jar, about 4.5 ounces)
- 1/2 large chicken breast, cut into chunks or shredded
- walnuts for crunch (pine nuts that are toasted would be good too)
- a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese (just because)
If you find it’s too dry add more oil from the tomatoes, or olive oil.
I think you could make endless variations of summer salads with this kind of recipe as a template.
- Cooked grain: Rice, quinoa, or even noodles.
- Greens: Any green will do!
- Something with a burst flavor (sundried tomatoes, olives, capers, even fruit!)
- Cheese (if you eat it): You want something that blends with your other things like cheddar with ground beef, or capers and salmon.
- Poultry or fish or meat (if you eat it): I could use up leftover salmon, or use beef or even diced leftover steak.
Try another recipe: Vegan Summer Southwestern Salad Recipe
* I recommend split breasts since they hold more juice in and the bones can be reused to make stock. Also Martha recommends it, I think. I also buy organic (when possible, hormone and antibiotic free when not) chicken since I’m a big believer in spending your grocery dollars where it counts. Meat, certain produce, greens and milk (rGBT-free if you can find it, Costco carries it).
I’m eating some of this summer salad now. Yum. Don’t tell anyone, it’s my 3rd bowl!