Arugula Salad with Pickled Strawberries, Candied Pistachios and Crumbled Blue Cheese

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Main Ingredient: Vegetables
Menu Part: Salad
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: 4 servings

Chef Michelle Bernstein knows how to wake up weary taste buds, as she demonstrates deliciously with this inventive recipe. The flavor and textural contrast of the peppery arugula, crunchy-sweet pistachios and gently pickled strawberries makes for a lively plate of salad. Add a few crumbles of blue cheese for just the right finish.

Ingredients

2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. water
1 cup pistachios, shelled
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. brown sugar
¼ cup + 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, divided
1 bay leaf
2 cups strawberries, stemmed, quartered
4 cups torn arugula
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Steps

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In small saucepan, heat sugar and water together until boiling. Toss pistachios into mixture. Spread onto a cookie sheet. Bake 5 to10 min.

2. Remove pistachios from oven and season immediately with sea salt. Allow to cool on cookie sheet.

3. Remove pistachios from pan; chop into small pieces and set aside.

4. In another saucepan, heat brown sugar and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar with bay leaf. Place strawberries into a bowl over another bowl filled with ice. Pour hot vinegar mixture over strawberries and allow to cool. Remove strawberries from vinegar.

5. For service, in large bowl, combine arugula, bleu cheese and strawberries with olive oil, 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Place on 4 plates, top with candied pistachios.

Recipe by Chef Michelle Bernstein, Michy’s and Sra. Martinez, Miami, Florida; Recipe courtesy of American Pistachio Growers