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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

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. 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 🙂

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

  3. 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 =)

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

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

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

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

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

  11. Liz, this is a colorful and healthy salad that I would love too eat right now – I eat salad every single day of the week and I am always looking for new recipe ideas – your sisters recipe looks truly wonderful!

  12. This definitely looks like a great antidote to a lot of chocolate. I’d eat this, and then I’d have a little chocolate afterwards! 😉

  13. Your salad is beautiful and I love the simplicity of the dressing. We enjoy Arugula lettuce too but agree it can be a bit bitter. Thanks for this skinny recipe.

  14. Nothing to beat a great salad – this looks good, Liz. Pity hubby just won’t eat it and so have to sneak them at lunchtimes. Like Carolyn, I also sneak the chocolate, too 😉

  15. This is MY KIND OF SALAD! I am obsessed with arugula lately…the peppery flavor is so wonderful.

  16. I love Arugula and I cant wait to try out this dressing! Thanks for sharing!!

  17. Arugula is one of my favorite leafy greens! Can’t wait to try this myself!

  18. Your meal plan sounds much like mine. I too like to pile my plate high with salad and veggies and go light on the protein. Your salad looks incredible! Love the addition of the avocados too. YUM!

  19. Sounds like a great flavor combination!

  20. Loving all the flavors in this salad ! So much color and good nutrition in there ! Thanks for joining Skinny Sunday supper & saying a prayer for your in-laws health !

  21. Hi Lizzy! The green looks so fresh… could feel the crunchiness… I lovet rocket leaves in salad! Thanks for sharing this!

  22. Great looking salad, and such a lovely combination of flavors. And I love the mayo trick – I’ll have to remember that. Good stuff – thanks.

  23. Simple and delicious is the way to go for salads! This looks great!

  24. I can see that salad being your kind of food, even with your chocolate love and sweet tooth. It looks fantastic. I rarely see arugula and avocado thrown together, but they’d make an awesome pairing.

  25. Simple homemade salad dressings are the best! Love the combination of arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado. Yum!

  26. I went with some arugula this week too. Love the taste of it and your dressing sounds so good with everything.

  27. I love a simple salad like this!

  28. Sounds good! Your sister seems different to you. Funny how that happens.

  29. Simple but delicious looking salad 🙂
    Love it!

    Choc Chip Uru

  30. Love this salad is perfect Lizzy!!
    (Im still waiting by my little tomatos I plant LOL)
    maybe to the end of the month!!
    I love little tomatos!

  31. Perfect salad and gorgeous looking avocados!!

  32. Thanks for this super healthy dish. I love simple salads, usually with some kind of protein on top – chicken or tuna are favourites. The dressing sounds great. Thanks to your sister.

  33. Lizzy, we are crazed for avocado and our little doggy too. My go to green is arugula. Love your younger sister’s taste, what a great salad!

  34. I do love a hearty Arugula salad, especially with lots of avocado! Looks colorful, and really fabulous, Hugs, Terra

  35. It is nice to have salad every once in a while, although I have a much harder time eating it in the winter. Arugula is my favorite green.

  36. Ahhhhh – a refreshing salad like that with broiled salmon – my favourite kind of meal for sure!! I need to eat more meals like that one as I am still trying to lose some of the Christmas and post Christmas weight. My recent detox just didn’t go as well as I had hoped :). Now I have a clue as to how you stay so slim!!

  37. What a beautiful salad! I am more like your sister, Maddy. I can hardly ever follow a recipe… I’m always coloring outside the lines. 🙂

  38. Thanks so much for linking your yummy sounding (and looking) recipes to the Dinner Time Recipes linky! I hope that you continue linking your delicious recipes each week. You post has been pinned by me!

  39. I also usually add a tablespoon of low fat mayo to my homemade vinaigrette dressings. It mellow out the dressing and gives it a creamy texture without adding much fat or calories. And I love avocado in a salad. Healthy and yummy! 🙂

  40. Some excellent flavor choices here in your salad Liz. Looks like you are not the only on in your family who is kitchen talented. ^.^

  41. I’ve been experimenting with homemade salad dressings and this one is right on time.

  42. Love the dressing, Lizzy! This salad sounds perfect for me!

  43. Lovely looking salad and the dressing sounds fabulous!!It would pair well with any food 🙂

  44. Wow, this is a beautiful salad Liz. Apparently Maddy is the yin to your yang. Her recipe for the entree and your recipes for dessert.

  45. Arugula is so good but alone yeah bitter. I have to try that simple but wonderful dressing! Very nice salad.

  46. My husband loves arugula but I tend to avoid it because I am not a fan of the bitterness but I am going to try your sisters dressing

  47. My husband loves arugula but I tend to avoid it because I am not a fan of the bitterness but I am going to try your sisters dressing and see if I can like too 🙂

  48. Lol, Liz, I just read your comment on my blog about how you brought a salad this week to avoid a baking catastrophe like mine! I don’t blame you one bit for writing about this salad – it’s delicious! I love every single component in there. This sounds so fresh, vibrant, healthy and flavourful, everything you can ask for in a healthy meal. Throw in a lean protein and dinner is done!

  49. Love this! So light and healthy! I love Grape tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado in my salads!

  50. Yummmmy. Healthy. DeeeLISH! Xx

  51. I pile my dish high with salads just like this too. Next to soup, it’s my favorite type of dish. Well, ok, unless we’re listing dessert too. Then soup is second, and salads are third 🙂 I almost always have arugula in the garden that I go pick for my salads.

  52. We like all greens including Arugula. This sounds like the perfect salad!!!

  53. I never use mayo in my dressing, always dijon, but it looks so good I might have to switch it out and give it a try!

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