Arugula Carrot Salad

This hearty salad makes a great base for a meal, or a delicious side dish.

This recipe was inspired by the N.Y. Times.

Oh, the joys of summer cooking! Or rather, summer "food assembling." (Some of my favorite dishes are just sliced, diced, and plated...no cooking required!). Where I live, summer is always abundant with farm-fresh produce. Last week I picked up, no joke, a 20-lb. bag of fresh produce from our farmer, Dave Banga. So exciting! However, once one has 20 lbs. of veggies to enjoy, one has to decide what to do with them so they are preserved and enjoyed at their peak of freshness...So, what does one do with two massive bags of carrots? Or a mountain of arugula? Enter this salad. It's a fantastic way to highlight the sweet carrots and the spice of the arugula, and doll it up with some healthy fat from your nut of choice. I like walnuts to orchestrate the flavors, but pecans might be nice too. And a few fresh or dried herbs can enhance this salad too. Feel free to be liberal with your herb use. (I feel like I should enter a "wink wink" at the end of that sentence, but I truly just mean tarragon, rosemary, basil...you get my drift.)

Anyway, may you enjoy this salad, and your myriad garden-fresh dishes!

Ingredients:

Salad: 4 cups baby arugula 2 cups grated carrots 1/4 cup broken walnuts 1-2 tbs. finely chopped fresh tarragon *1/4 cup grated Parmesan or crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Dressing: 1 tbs. fresh lemon juice 1-2 tbs. sherry vinegar 1-2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar Himalayan or sea salt to taste 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 drop doTERRA lemon essential oil *1 pinch of dried oregano (optional) *1 small garlic clove, pureed or finely minced (optional)

Method:

1. Combine the arugula, carrots, walnuts, and tarragon (and optional cheese) in a salad bowl.

2. In a small glass jar with a lid, combine all the dressing ingredients. Secure the lid and shake to combine.

3. Shortly before serving, toss the salad with the dressing.

*Advance preparation: You can combine the salad ingredients several hours before serving and refrigerate in a covered bowl. The dressing will also hold for several hours, in or out of the refrigerator.

Benefits:

Arugula: Arugula is a rich source of folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and B-complexes (such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, which are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions). This is a low-cal lettuce leaf that packs a nutritional wallop, so don’t be afraid to ask for a second helping! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Carrot: Carrots are well known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient, beta-carotene, which is GREAT for our eye health. However, these root vegetables are also a great source of a variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients such as vitamins A, C, K. Studies have shown their effectiveness in the prevention of colon cancer, and their benefits to our cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system, and promote a sense of well-being. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Tarragon: Tarragon is an excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc. It has also been used in various types of traditional medicine as an appetite stimulant, and as a remedy for anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence and hiccups. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers,  including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.