Arugula & Pear Salad with Goat Cheese Crumbles - Summer Recipes

Summer is the season of salads. The variety of leafy greens, veggies and fruits to play with make the combinations endless. Arugula is a weird looking leaf. It's long, lacks the larger leaves and is hard to pick up with your fork. It's also unique in flavor, almost spicy. You normally see it as a garnish or a mix-in to other leafy greens, not so much on its own. I think arugula has so much potential though. It has personality, something a lot of other greens don't have. With the right combination, it can be a star all on its own. 

Like any salad, the goal I had when building this particular one was to make it well-rounded. The arugula is spicy so adding pear gave it a sweet flavor, the bacon added saltiness, the goat cheese a tangy savory note and the balsamic vinaigrette a sweet but tart finish. It turned out to be a fantastic combination. The spiciness of the arugula mellowed with the light sweetness of the pear and when you got some bacon in there, YUM. This would be a great starter to any summertime meal but I picture it as the ideal beginner to a barbecue feast. What do you think?

1 Pear, sliced
8 slices Bacon, chopped
1 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
3 tbsp. Olive Oil
5 oz. Arugula
8 slices Bacon, chopped
2 oz. Goat Cheese Crumbles

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and top with a cooling rack. Lay the bacon slices flat, side by side on the rack. Bake 15-20 minutes until crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

2. While the bacon cools, mix your vinaigrette. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup and dijon mustard until emulsified. Continue whisking while slowly adding in the olive oil. Continue to whisk until completely combined. 

3. Divide the arugula onto two small plates or into two salad bowls. Top with chopped bacon and goat cheese. Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over the salad. Serve.

How do you like to experiment with summer produce? Tell me in the comments below and make sure to check out our other recipes!