While going through photos from this Oscar Party photo shoot, I realized I’d never shared the recipe for the incredibly delicious arugula, blood orange & almond salad that we served to guests as a first course. (We collaborated with Word of Mouth on this one, and they created the most perfect dinner party menu full of luxe Oscar-worthy bites.) This is one of those salads that features just a handful of super simple ingredients, but the flavor combination of the peppery arugula, intense blood orange, nutty almonds and almost dessert-like dates comes together as something completely unforgettable. I honestly make some form of this salad every week, swapping out grapefruit for the blood orange, or toasted walnuts for the marcona almonds, or figs for the dates. A few shavings of a really good, fresh parmesan and a drizzle of almond oil are must-have finishing touches that really take this salad over the top. Keep reading for the recipe…
Arugula Salad with Blood Oranges, Dates & Almonds
recipe c/o Word of Mouth Catering
- 6 cups arugula
- 2 blood oranges
- ½ cup marcona almonds
- 12 dates (look for either Deglet Noor or Medjool varieties)
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 3 tablespoons pure almond oil
- fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Slice the stem and blossom ends from the blood oranges. Stand the blood oranges on one end. Following the contour of the fruit with your knife, remove the peel and white cottony pith. Work from top to bottom, rotating the fruit as you go. When all peel is removed, slice each orange thinly into 8 to 10 pinwheels.
- Cut the dates in half lengthwise and remove the pits.
- Place the Parmigiano-Reggiano, flat side down, on a cutting board. Using a chef’s knife or vegetable peeler, shave 16 large-thin slices of cheese.
- Scatter 1/3 of the arugula on a large platter. Arrange 1/3 of the oranges, dates, cheese and nuts. Scatter another layer of arugula and continue layering in the same manner, letting the ingredients intertwine together. Drizzle the almond oil over the salad and season lightly with fleur de sel, pepper and a squeeze of blood orange juice.
*photos: Chad Wadsworth