Sometimes, you have to build recipes around one ingredient. Today, that ingredient was arugula. With a fresh bag filled with arugula sitting in my fridge, I pondered how to use it with other things I already had. What I originally wanted to use it for was totally impractical - fancy crostini with goat cheese and prosciutto, or something - so I looked into arugula salads. Are they even a thing? Turn out they are. And they're perfect if you're in the mood for something light, nutritious, and peppery.
fresh arugula | shrimp | white quinoa | lemon juice | honey mustard | honey | olive oil | salt + pepper | cayenne pepper | garlic | topped with honeyed pecans
There's a reason I am not a food blogger...I don't post the quantities used! Woops. I like to think I am instinctive as a chef, but I am probably just lazy. So, if you want to use a similar recipe, please know that I modified this awesome one. The original recipe called for orzo pasta. While it looked and sounded delicious, I subbed out the pasta for a more protein rich quinoa. And it was really delicious, filling, and nuttier. Look at me using all of these great foodie descriptors.
First, I began with the quinoa. It takes about 15 minutes to make, and I somehow always make too much. I believe I made 1/4 cup quinoa and let that boil and simmer in 1/2 cup water. When that was almost finished, I got my shrimp in a lemon/oil/pepper/honey/honey mustard /garlic marinade.
Second step: shrimp. They're easy to make and cook fast. I love cooking shrimp, but I still have a lot to learn when it comes to sautéing. I have grilled shrimp, and think that would be even better (if you can access a grill), but sautéing works great.
The third step revolved around prepping the greens. I warmed them in a separate pan with some light olive oil and got the quinoa in there. While it was still fluffy, it weighted down a lot of the greens so I added some more to the top of the salad. After spooning some onto a plate, I got the shrimp out, tossed some honeyed pecans on top, added a spritz of lemon (again!) with some more salt and pepper. Tada!
So, bottom line, this was delicious a tangy blend of flavors. Peppery, nutty and lemony, with a little bit of sweetness highlighted by the pecans and honey. Perfect for a summer meal with a glass of pino grigio!