A Simple Rocket Salad

Simple Rocket SaladIn my early days of being a bright-eyed foodie (yes, I still am), we went to Rose Pistola restaurant in San Francisco.  It was a fantastic meal with the perfect ambiance, attentive service and quality food.  It’s funny though – I can’t remember what I ordered for dinner because the salad struck a chord with me with its simple yet intriguing flavors.  Made with rocket (also known as arugula), persimmons and toasted hazelnuts, the salad is dressed with just hazelnut oil and salt and pepper (hazelnut oil is light yet has a heady, rich nutty aroma).  Until recently, I would only make the salad when persimmons were in season – a few short weeks here – and sometimes the season would come and go with me lamenting that “I missed the Rose Pistola salad again this year!”  While persimmons are a sweet and unique fruit to use, I started using mangoes so we could enjoy this salad almost any time of the year.  They are a dandy substitute; the sweet fruit plays beautifully against the spicy arugula leaves and the nutty flavors from the hazelnuts and oil add another dimension of flavor.  In this rocket salad, the simplicity of the flavors shines through – another wonderful food memory re-created at home.Empty Salad Bowl

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Rocket Salad with Mangoes & Hazelnuts
Recipe adapted from Rose Pistola/San Francisco
Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves two foodies for a side salad

Ingredients:
3 to 4 handfuls of rocket or baby arugula
Hazelnut oil
Sea salt (or kosher salt)
Fresh cracked pepper
½ mango, peeled, cored and sliced into strips
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped, toasted hazelnuts

Directions:
Add the rocket/arugula  leaves to a large bowl and drizzle lightly with hazelnut oil (about 2 or 3 teaspoons), along with a scant 1/8 teaspoon salt and a good pinch of pepper.  Gently toss to evenly coat the leaves; you want just enough oil so the leaves glisten.

Add the mango slices and chopped hazelnuts and toss together.  If needed, add more hazelnut oil to taste.

Mound the salad on two plates, add a pinch of sea salt on top and serve immediately.

How to cut a mango

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9 responses to “A Simple Rocket Salad

  1. Hey Melissa! I just stopped over from Cheryl’s blog to check out your salad. It looks great and I love mango and hazelnuts so I’m definitely going to give this a try. It’s funny but I have never been to Rose Pistola I live 10 minutes north of SF. Lame, I know! Your blog looks great and full of wonderful recipes! I can’t wait to check it out further! Jackie

    • Hi, Jackie! Thanks for stopping by. You have so many delicious dining choices in the SF area and I’m sure it’s hard to hit them all. Cheryl raves about your quinoa patties and I look forward to tasting a batch. Cheers!

  2. We learned something new..we didn’t know Arugula was called Garden Rocket. Cole said, “Well, that salad must be out of this world.” Get it?? :) This is a super healthy salad and now that you’ve turned us on to hazelnut oil from your past recipes, we know this is a winner. As Guy Fieri says, “we’ll soon be on the “tasty train to flavor town.”

  3. This looks wonderful! A must have for lunch.

  4. Arugula – one of my favorite greens! I believe you made this one summer when I was visiting and it was fabulous! Great visual on cutting the mango. Normally I would have given up for lack of know-how. And the hazelnuts…..I’m drooling!

    • Glad you liked the mango cutting visual, and that it will nudge you to give it a try in the future! I have been eating arugula on my sandwiches lately, and love the spicy crunch it adds.

      • Speaking of spicy crunch, I tried sunflower sprouts for the first time at the City North Farmers Market. They look like bean sprouts with regard to size, but taste a bit nutty and have a ever so slight “peppery-ness” (did I just make up a word?!). Since I haven’t located pea shoots to top my quinoa patties or hummus/avocado toasts, I’m going to use these…..10 days and counting!!!!

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