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Maddy's Arugula Salad in a white ceramic serving bowl

Maddy’s Arugula Salad

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This healthy Arugula Salad is full of clean, simple ingredients and dressed perfectly with an emulsified balsamic vinaigrette. An ideal side dish for any meal!

Maddy's Arugula Salad in a white ceramic serving bowl

Maddy’s Healthy Arugula Salad

My youngest sister, Maddy, has a knack for cooking without a recipe.  As more of a baker, I always rely on written instructions and rarely mess with the proportions of leavening to flour and fat. My tweaks tend to be changes in flavorings or kind of chocolate. While we were back in Iowa visiting our family home, she whipped up some fabulous broiled salmon and this delightful salad. I have a feeling you’ll love Maddy’s Arugula salad as much as I did.

Maddy's Arugula Salad tossed with salad dressing

It was all about the simple dressing…Maddy started by mashing a garlic clove with about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, then mixed that with a well-aged balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Her secret weapon was adding about a tablespoon of mayo which seemed to temper the bitter arugula nicely. Halved grape tomatoes, English cucumber, and avocado chunks were placed on top of the salad and when dinner was served, we tossed it all together with the marvelous vinaigrette.

 Although I love to post sugary, fat-laden, chocolate coated, drool-worthy desserts best of all, my diet is much healthier than it appears. This sort of salad would be piled on my dinner plate, with just a small piece of chicken or helping of the entree of the day. And if I’m still hungry, I just pull a cookie out of the freezer to appease my sweet tooth. So if you’re still trying to backtrack to that pre-holiday weight, check out all the skinny recipes shared by our contributors this week.

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Maddy's Arugula Salad in a white ceramic serving bowl

The Recipe: Maddy’s Arugula Salad

Fresh produce tossed in a light vinaigrette makes or a fabulous, healthy side dish!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 4 servings


  • Arugula
  • 8 Grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced, then quartered
  • Avocado, cut into cubes


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste.


  1. Fill salad bowl with arugula. Top with chopped veggies.
  2. To prepare dressing, put salt on mixing board. Put garlic clove on top of salt and mince the garlic and salt together. Whisk garlic/salt mixture with vinegar, then whisk in olive oil. Whisk in mayonnaise.
  3. Toss salad with dressing just before serving. Refrigerate any extra dressing.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 303Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 295mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g


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54 comments on “Maddy’s Arugula Salad”

  1. Your sister Maddy cooks just like me…. hence why I am not so good at baking!
    I am in love with this salad!

  2. Beautiful salad and I’m adding your dressing to my list of homemade dressings to make.

  3. I love simple salad. Your dressing has all of my fav ingredients for a salad dressing.

  4. I love arugula so much I eat it all the time. With avocado it becomes extra good. Just my kind of salad! Gorgeous Liz!

  5. Liz, this is gorgeous. So simple and wonderful and the type of thing I can bring together quickly and enjoy for lunch throughout the week.
    Perfect recipe!

  6. What a delicious, simple salad. I bet it is even better in the summer, with garden fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, and a little chicken or shrimp on the grill.

  7. Maddy is a genius and you may tell her I said so. What a beautiful and delicious salad she created! I love the pepperiness of arugula or rocket, as it’s called in many countries, and that dressing sounds perfect. So glad you shared!

  8. How lucky for your parents to have had two talented sisters ladening their table with wonderful savory and sweet dishes. Thank you Liz and Maddy for this lovely salad combo and dressing =)

  9. I am so stealing that dressing recipe! What a great looking salad!!!!!

  10. Lizzy, your sister’s salad sound yummy! Adding mayo to a salad tossed with with balsamic dressing sound odd but I believe you that it is good. Hmm..a cookie can be frozen? I should try that 🙂

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