Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recipe for Baby Arugula Chopped Salad with Chicken, Fresh Mozzarella, and Tomatoes

Baby Arugula Chopped Salad with Chicken, Fresh Mozzarella, and TomatoesThis baby arugula chopped salad was one of the main reasons that arugula kept disappearing from my fridge the last few weeks. I'd never thought of using arugula in a chopped salad until I had the Italiana Chopped Salad at Vinto, a beautifully designed restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City. This salad isn't exactly the same as the Vinto salad, but I loved the combination of chopped baby arugula, chicken, fresh mozzarella, and tomatoes with a zesty dressing. I used leftover rotisserie chicken in this salad, but grilling a chicken breast and then cutting it up would make it even better. At my house there are still a few red tomatoes coming from the garden, but if it's not garden tomato season when you're craving arugula, grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes would be great in this.

Whisk together white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Cut up the fresh mozzarella into smallish cubes (or use another type of cheese of your choice; the Vinto salad uses cubes of Fontina cheese. This salad would also be a great way to use fresh mozzarella pearls, which you might want to cut in half.)

Cut up enough leftover cooked chicken to make 1 cup of chopped chicken (or grill a marinated chicken breast, then cut it up and use in the salad.)

Put the diced fresh mozzarella and diced chicken into a small bowl and toss with half the dressing.

Wash and dry 2 oz. of baby arugula, then coarsely chop with large chef's knife.

Dice one cup of ripe garden tomatoes (or use cherry tomatoes, cut in half)

Put chopped arugula and diced tomatoes into salad bowl and toss with remaining dressing.

Then mix in the mozzarella cubes and diced chicken you mixed with dressing, gently toss again, season with more salt and fresh ground black pepper if desired, and serve.

Baby Arugula Chopped Salad with Chicken, Fresh Mozzarella, and Tomatoes
(Amounts given are for one main-dish salad, recipe inspired by Italiano Chopped Salad at Vinto, a restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City.)

1 T white balsamic vinegar (or use regular balsamic vinegar, but it will not look as pretty)
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella cheese (about 2 oz.)
1 cup diced cooked chicken breast (I used leftover rotisserie chicken, but this would be great with a chicken breast that was grilled and then cut up for the salad)
2 oz. baby arugula, washed, dried, and chopped
1 cup diced cherry tomatoes or diced red garden tomatoes

In a small bowl whisk together white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and Dijon mustard, and season dressing to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Cut up the fresh mozzarella into small cubes. Cut leftover chicken breast or grilled chicken breast into pieces. Put mozzarella cubes and diced chicken into a small bowl and toss with half the dressing.

Wash and dry the baby arugula, then chop coarsely with large chef's knife. Chop tomatoes or cut cherry tomatoes in half until you have about 1 cup chopped tomato. Put chopped arugula and chopped tomatoes into larger bowl and toss with the remaining dressing. Add the cubes of mozzarella and diced chicken you mixed with dressing and gently toss again. Season salad again with salt and fresh ground black pepper if desired and serve immediately.

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South Beach Suggestions:
As long as you use low-fat skim milk mozzarella, everything in this salad is a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet. This would be a great salad to take to work for a South Beach Diet friendly lunch. I would cut the mozzarella and chicken in the morning and add the dressing, then put in a container with a snap-on lid, then chop the arugula and tomatoes and put it in another container. Pack the dressing in a small container with a screw-on lid. Combine the salad at work right before you eat it.

More Tasty Salads with Arugula
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Arugula Chickpea Salad with Feta and Balsamic-Tahini Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen
Arugula and Sweet Mini-Pepper Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen
Raw Summer Squash Salad with Arugula, Feta, and Herbs from Kalyn's Kitchen
Mango, Avocado, and Arugula Salad from Laylita's Recipes
Orange Arugula Salad from Elana's Pantry
Arugula Shrimp Salad from Cooking with Amy
Warm Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad from The Kitchn
Arugula and Apple Salad from 80 Breakfasts
Arugula Salad with Manchego Cheese, Marcona Almonds, and Membrillo Dressing from The Well-Seasoned Cook
Arugula Salad with Strawberries and Pecans from Ezra Pound Cake
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Maria said...

I was just thinking about dinner, wish I had this salad. Looks fantastic!

Kalyn said...

Maria, thanks! Soon you can cook dinner in your new kitchen!

sinfullyspicy said...

very fresh and healthy salad...loved the use of bring such delights to the table always!

Kalyn said...

Tanvi, thank you! I thought that tiny bit of mustard made a lot of difference.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'd never have thought of an arugula chopped salad, but I love the look of this one. Thanks for another new idea.

Kalyn said...

Lydia, I wouldn't have thought of it either, but loved it at Vinto so I thought it would be fun to try at home. (And I'm going there tomorrow with Rand and Bonnie so I might have it again!)

Pascal said...

Kalyn, I never thought of using white balsamic vinegar to keep the salad looking good. Very good idea!

Joanne said...

I actually adore arugula in salads and so I'm SO glad you discovered it! Sounds like a stellar salad topping combination!

Patrice @ Circle-B-Kitchen said...

What a lovely combination of salad ingredients and flavors. Put fresh mozarella in anything and I'm in!!

kitchen table said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely and very healthy and delicious recipe this is!

Kalyn said...

So glad people are enjoying this. My niece Alyson made the recipe right after I posted it and reported on Twitter that she liked it!

The white balsamic vinegar is a little milder, but it also keeps the mozzarella and chicken from looking "brown" in this.

Susan said...

A beauty, Kalyn.

I prefer young arugula b/c its mature flavor is so coarse and skunky, not to mention usually too battle scarred, given its age.

Thanks so much for the shout-out.

Kalyn said...

Susan, I agree, the baby arugula is just a little softer and gentler tasting. Love it!

CJ said...

What incredible timing for this recipe! I was just looking at the arugula in my refrigerator and wondering what I was going to do with it. And the fresh mozzarella too. I have everything I need to make this salad tonight!
Thank you Kalyn.

Kalyn said...

CJ, that's great; hope you enjoy it!

Jeanette said...

Looks so fresh and welcoming! Arugula is a nice healthy green, and I would imagine makes the salad that much more tasty.

Kalyn said...

Jeanette, so nice that it's healthful isn't it? I love the slightly spicy flavor of the arugula.

SallyBR said...

We've been enjoying baby arugula quite a bit lately too -

lovely salad, Kalyn... would be great for my lunch at work too, I don't think arugula gets soggy too easily

Kalyn said...

Sally, I'd mix the dressing on the arugula and tomatoes right before you eat it, but I agree, this would be a great salad to take to work.

Tawnyers said...

I added some Za'atar to the salad dressing and it was amazing! Thanks for all your great recipes. And for introducing me to Za'atar!

Kalyn Denny said...

Tawnyers, I love the sound of that! Thanks for sharing.

Pamela Baker said...

Just made this and I gobbled it up. So yummy, and I'm not a person who usually loves salad.

Kalyn Denny said...

So glad you liked it!

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