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Cherry-Arugula Salad with Almonds and Tarragon

Cherry-Arugula Salad with Almonds and Tarragon

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Cherries and almonds are a classic pair and make a delicious salad combination with tart arugula and fragrant tarragon.


  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 6 Tablespoons slivered almonds, divided
  • 1/2 Pound cherries (about 2 cups), pitted and halved, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 5 Ounces baby arugula
  • 1 1/2 Cup cooked whole grains (e.g. barley, farro, wheat berries, wild rice)


Calories Per Serving142

Folate equivalent (total)34µg8%

I recently saw a post on Facebook from Daphne Oz about her take on Fettuccine Alfredo using a cauliflower puree as the substitute for alfredo sauce. Since I’ve made cauliflower mashed “potatoes” before, and it turned out delicious, I was overly anxious to try her recipe. And as expected, it turned out delicious! Feel free toContinue reading “Healthy Fettuccine “Alfredo””

I woke up yesterday, yearning to make a meatless/veggie lasagna. I have no idea why this particular dish was pinpointed as the object of my affection, but knew I HAD to make it. I perused some of my saved recipes, and came across a few that looked delicious. So, I took one, altered it quiteContinue reading “Artichoke, Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna”

Cherry Almond Arugula Salad

This Cherry Almond Arugula Salad combines fresh baby arugula with sweet cherries, almonds, goat cheese, and grilled chicken for delicious summer salad that's perfect as a main dish or on the side!

I'm prepping myself, you guys. The time is near. and I can taste it. Just one more day and Nora is done with preschool just one more week and the girls are off for the summer. Like I said, I'm prepping myself. Let the chaos begin!

The feeling is the same every year. Part excitement, mostly dread. It has nothing to do with not wanting to spend time with my kids. and everything to do with knowing that a summer with four kids is exhausting. And consuming. And if I feel like I'm scrambling to get things done now. I really need to brace myself!

The funny thing? I've been doing this for years. And every year I have the same idea: work ahead so I can take the summer off. And every year it's the same story. Did I work ahead? Of course not. Who has time for working ahead??

So here's my plan: drink (and post) a lot of cocktails. Ha! Just kidding. My real plan? Make sure I'm treating myself to lots of delicious meals. and then share them with all of you. You can be like my pseudo lunch dates. My sanity keepers. Because clearly I'll be needing help with that. Sound like a plan?

So let's kick off our lunch dates with this awesome Cherry Almond Arugula Salad. This salad makes use of leftover grilled chicken and is loaded up with all my favorite things - cherries, almonds, goat cheese. and a honey dijon vinaigrette. With basil! It's the perfect balance of flavors and textures, and such a great way to kick off summer break. And the really great thing about it? It works equally well as a main dish or side dish, and you can easily add more of any ingredient according to your tastes.

You hear that, summer? We're ready for you. And so is this Cherry Almond Arugula Salad.

How to Make Arugula Salad More Ways Than One

There are plenty of ways to make this simple arugula salad to fit your meal, and your cravings. Here are three of my favorite ways:

  1. Lemon and Shaved Parmesan Arugula Salad: This is pretty much my go-with-everything, fast and simple side dish salad. I love it with its ribbons of Parmesan served on top of pizza or as a side to stuffed chicken thighs or easy gnocchi with pomodoro sauce.
  2. Arugula Salad with Apple and Parmesan: Slivered slices of apple sweeten the peppery flavor of arugula with the salty bite of spunky Parmesan cheese with super thinly sliced red onion. I like serving this salad alongside my chicken and white bean and butternut squash chili for a light bite to the meal.
  3. Sun-Dried Tomato, Pine Nuts and Parmesan Arugula Salad: This version comes straight from my globally stocked pantry with toasted pine nuts with sun-dried tomatoes and chunks of Parmesan. This salad is terrific with any Mediterranean main dish, especially as a base for my Greek marinated chicken, and one of my favorite lunches.


If you need to bring a side or a salad to a Labor Day Weekend fête, I’ve got just the one.

This salad is quick, colorful, and delicious with the added bonus that it could easily become dinner with the addition of sliced grilled chicken. The first time I had it, on the weekend of the eclipse, my good friend, and relative, Meera Ballal, brought all the ingredients over in a Trader Joe’s grocery sack. By the time the chicken was grilled, the salad was assembled and on the table. Everyone loved it!

Yield: Serves 10-12 as a side dish

2 7-ounce bags arugula, (have a third on standby to perk up the salad)
1 8-ounce package dried, tart Montmorency cherries
1 6-ounce package crumbled feta cheese (sometimes Meera uses 2 containers)
1 8-ounce package raw, sliced almonds
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Judy’s Chickens Every Day Salad Dressing or TJ’s Balsamic Vinaigrette
Lemony Grilled Chicken Breasts (optional)

Mise en Place


Put the arugula, feta and dried cherries in an extra-large mixing bowl that leaves plenty of room for tossing the ingredients together.

Next, toast the almonds in olive oil to enhance their nutty flavor. To do so, pour olive oil in a warmed medium-sized sauté pan. Add almonds and mix to coat. Sauté over medium-low heat for about two minutes. Meera told me to stir the nuts almost constantly because they go from toasted to burned, quickly. She said, with her infectious laugh, “This is not the time to multitask in the kitchen.” She was right about that. The nuts went from creamy-white to brown, to dark brown around the edges of the pan in the blink of an eye. When they start to brown, dump them immediately into a small bowl to stop the cooking process. Keep the nuts warm in a separate bowl until dinner time.

Just before serving, add the nuts and salad dressing. I like to use my own homemade salad dressing @judyschickens Everyday Salad Dressing. I sprinkle a little white balsamic vinegar over the greens for added “bite” before tossing. The greens start to collapse quickly, so don’t add dressing until you are ready to serve.

For the grilled chicken, try my chicken marinade recipe, Lemony Thyme Grilled Chicken Breasts. The lemon and thyme in the chicken enhance the flavor of the salad.

The cost of this salad? $17.14 if you use your own salad dressing.

Always check the website for the most current version of a recipe. Thanks!

© 2014-2017 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos and text may only be used with written consent.

Wild Rice, Sour Cherry and Arugula Salad

This salad’s been in our regular rotation for almost a year and I’ve been keeping it all to myself. No longer. Break out that wild rice that’s been sitting in your pantry and make this hearty, zesty salad tonight. I suspect it will be the first of many times you make it.

This really is a year round salad. Wild rice, dried cherries, and bitter greens make it a good fit for winter but the zesty, crisp flavors made it the MVP of our summer picnics.

The origins of this dish belie it’s awesomeness. I was looking to develop a gout-friendly meal for a friend: something that incorporated sour cherries and whole grains. At the same time, I was harboring a secret agenda of using the wild rice that had been sitting in the pantry so long that Brad was threatening to throw it away. Cookie+Kate come to my rescue with this salad.

We started eating it for it’s gout-fighting and pantry-clearing benefits but kept making it because it’s so darn tasty and easy to make. As an added bonus, it’s a great make-ahead meal that tastes just as good – if not better – the second day.

Vegetarian and gluten-free, leave out the feta to make this salad vegan. I use honey-roasted almond slices from Trader Joe’s for a sweet twist but make your own adjustments to make this dish entirely yours.

Tarragon Chicken Salad with Dried Cherries and Toasted Almonds , 6 servings
1.5 lbs. chicken breasts, cooked
1/2 cup olive oil mayo (chef Jen recommends Hellman's)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tsp. curry powder
4 celery stalks, finely diced
1 bag sliced almonds, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup dried Michigan cherries
1/4-1/2 tsp. S.A.L.T. Sisters Pink Himalayan sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a large mixing bowl, combine mayo, yogurt, tarragon, curry powder, salt and pepper. Add the celery, almonds, cherries, and shredded or diced chicken to toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tip: If you don't have precooked chicken on hand, try using Martin's rotisserie chicken. Just be sure to remove the skin!
Tip: If you like a really crunchy salad, plate the salad and top with a sprinkle of toasted almonds, just before serving.
Try serving alone, with rice crackers, whole grain crackers, on top of a bed of greens, or in the well of an avocado.

For a printable version of this recipe, click hereTarragon Chicken Salad with Dried Cherries and Toasted Almonds:
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Chef Jen graduated in 2007 from Michigan State University with a Bachelor&rsquos Degree in Dietetics and Health Promotion. She began her dietetics&rsquo practice as a WIC (Women, Infants and Children) dietitian in Chicago. In December 2010, Jen pursued her lifelong dream of becoming a chef by studying culinary arts at Kendall College in downtown Chicago. After graduation in 2012, Jen worked as the head chef of a vegetarian catering company, where she developed hundreds of healthy recipes based on seasonal fruits and vegetables. From there, she took a job at Hy-Vee, a Midwest grocery store chain, as their head chef and dietitian. Through this job, Jen was able to share her dietitian and culinary expertise through nutrition counseling, cooking classes, and community events. Since moving back home to West Michigan, Jen has worked towards another goal of becoming a personal chef. Through Relish, she shares her love of healthy, seasonal ingredients with many families throughout the area.

Basmati Rice Pilaf with Toasted Almonds

Rice pilaf is one of the easiest ways to prepare rice. I served this as a side dish for Don&rsquos 80th birthday party, which was a family gathering of 18 people.

We also had a prime rib roast, tarragon chicken cordon blue, a spinach-strawberry salad with blue cheese and balsamic dressing, a caesar salad, and green beans with sliced almonds.

Dahn made a fantastic birthday cake in the shape of a wine barrel for her daddy and I made, at his request, a tiramisu dessert. You will find recipes in our index for the prime rib, chicken and the tiramisu dishes. We had a wonderful birthday party.

I have a six-quart cast iron pot with a lid that was perfect for this big batch of rice and even though the lid fits tightly, I covered the pot with a piece of foil and then placed the lid on it and popped it into the oven.

The basmati rice has a wonderful fragrance but different types of rice may be used, jasmine rice is delicious also.

Rice pilaf refers to rice that is cooked by the &ldquopilaf method,&rdquo in which the uncooked rice is first sautéed in butter, and then the boiling hot water or broth is added, and then the pot is covered and cooked in the oven until all the liquid is absorbed.

The Toasted Almonds Adds a Nice Crunch!

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 50g slightly salted butter , softened
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon , plus extra for scattering
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp finely snipped fresh chives
  • 25g ground almond
  • 4 large thin slices of prosciutto


Preheat the oven to fan 180C/ conventional 200C/gas 6. Pat each chicken breast dry with kitchen paper. Make three lengthways slits in the top of each breast, cutting halfway through the meat.

Cream the butter with the herbs until smooth, then blend in the almonds and a pinch of salt. Divide into 4 equal parts and spread one portion in the slits in each breast. Gently press the meat together to reform the shape.

Wrap the prosciutto well around each breast, overlapping the ends (you shouldn’t need cocktail sticks to secure it). Lay the parcels in an oiled ovenproof dish and cover loosely with a piece of buttered grease proof paper or foil. (The chicken breasts can be kept like this in the fridge for 2-8 hours, but let them come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking.)

Bake the chicken for 20 minutes, removing the butter paper or foil for the last 5 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and allow the chicken to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to individual plates and spoon over the melted butter that has collected in the bottom of the dish. Scatter with extra tarragon and some freshly ground pepper.

Cherry-Arugula Salad with Almonds and Tarragon - Recipes

The Magic Pan: Orange Almond Salad

The Magic Pan was best known for their crepes, but they also gained a following for their salads, including their Orange Almond Salad.

"The salad was first developed by our food service director, Hanna-Rose Zimmermann, for her own use at home, then adapted for use at the creperies," said Patricia Foley, advertising and public relations manager for the restaurants. "The secret is in the careful handling and crisping of the salad greens several hours in advance."

Source: Minneapolis Star, February 14, 1979

Wash and dry lettuce using wire salad basket or towel bag to shake water from leaves. Chill to crisp.

When ready to use, break lettuce into bite-size pieces. Add minced parsley, sliced green onions and mandarin orange. Add just enough sweet and sour dressing to moisten ingredients. Place on salad plates sprinkle almonds.

Sweet and Sour Salad Dressing

Measure tarragon, salt, pepper, sugar and mustard into small mixing bowl. Using a small wire whisk, beat vinegar into spices thoroughly. Slowly add oil. Continue mixing until oil is completely blended and dressing has a light, creamy color. Let stand for 20 minutes in refrigerator before using.


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