Sweet and Salty Arugula Salad

Time for March Secret Recipe Club!

Secret Recipe Club

This month I received the blog Smells Like Brownies.  When I was initially looking over the all of the wonderful recipes I was on the look out for a brownie recipe given the name of the blog.  However, when I came across the Sweet and Salty Arugula Salad  it sounded so delicious and thoughts of brownies flew out the window.  The salad was a favorite of the blogger after a trip to a D.C. pub.  She liked it so much she created it at home to enjoy.  The salad does have a few steps and does take a little time to prepare, but it is so worth it! The original recipe instructs how to candy your own pecans, but I bought some candied pecans from a local candy store (I included instructions below if you wish to candy your own). Please note, that the recipe makes 1 lb of nuts. When I bought the candied pecans I purchased about a cup.  For the salad, I made my own creamy balsamic dressing with a balsamic, mayo, touch of mustard, honey and fresh chives.  If you are looking for a fantastic salad- please give this a try! It is decadent and is perfect for an impressive lunch or dinner. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!  On Sunday, I made corned beef, cabbage, herb garlic butter potatoes and Irish soda bread. Amazing. Tonight we are headed to the restaurant I use to work at till having Kellen, Nicky's Lionhead. I worked at Nicky's for 10 years and still have many friends that work there.  Ron and I love to go and visit and have drinks. One of the owners, Johnny, makes awesome corned beef and cabbage and I can't wait to dig in!  I also made an Irish car bomb cheesecake for dessert..... 


5 oz arugula, chopped
1 lb roasted butternut squash cubes
3/4 cup chopped candied pecans
1/2 cup cooked pearled barley 
1/2 cup shredded pecorino romano
5–6 Tbl creamy balsamic vinaigrette
2 eggs, poached
salt and black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss squash lightly with olive oil, salt and black pepper.  Roast for 25 minutes.

1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound pecan halves

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a large zip-top bag, combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, water and vanilla extract. Add the pecans to the bowl and stir them into the egg white mixture. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pecans from the egg white mixture and drop them into the bag with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Once all of the pecans are added, seal the bag, and shake it to coat all of the pecans.
4. Pour pecans from the bag and place onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring them every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Creamy Balsamic:

3 Tbl mayo
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbl minced chives
1 Tbl honey
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Whisk together and cover in fridge

To Assemble:

Toss the arugula, squash, pecans, barley, and cheese with balsamic dressing.

Scoop the salad into serving dishes.

Poach the eggs in simmering water. Lay an egg on the top of each salad. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Crack the eggs and let the yolk dress the salads.

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