This strawberry arugula salad uses the herbs like lettuce, and juices from the macerated strawberries actually create the dressing. Ready in less than 15 minutes!
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We should treat herbs like they are lettuce more often. That's what makes this strawberry arugula salad so good. The herbs are not just a garnish or topping, they truly make the salad.
The "salad dressing" is actually the juices from the strawberries after they have macerated for a bit with honey (NO refined sugar - yay), lemon and a drizzle of good olive oil. The way these flavors come together is sweet, savory, bright, and umami all in one.
With all of these beautiful ingredients, this strawberry arugula salad just screams freshness. It's easy and so casual, like summer itself.
Ingredients you'll need
- Fresh strawberries: Get fresh, ripe strawberries, with no mushy spots. You really want them ripe, because the strawberry juices are going to create our salad dressing.
- Arugula: Baby arugula or wild arugula both work well.
- Basil: Get the freshest basil you can find (it's easy to grow yourself!) and never store it in the refrigerator - it will turn brown.
- Fresh mint: Look for mint with dark green leaves that are perky, not wilted or wrinkled.
- Honey: Or swap in maple syrup if you want to make it vegan.
- Lemon zest and juice
- Olive oil and kosher salt
How to make a strawberry arugula salad
Adapted from Bon Appétit.
Step 1: Slice strawberries and macerate them
Hull and slice strawberries.
Place strawberries in a bowl - I love my Pyrex bowls - then add lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey and allow to macerate for about 10 minutes or until juices are running out of the strawberries.
What does macerate mean? It means that we are going to add a liquid (the lemon juice) and a form of sugar (the honey) to the strawberries so that they will soften and release their juices to create a syrup.
Step 2: Combine the arugula and herbs
Place arugula in a large salad bowl.
Tear the basil and mint into smaller pieces (small leaves can remain whole). Toss herbs and arugula gently together with your hands.
Step 3: Assemble the salad and serve
Top the salad mixture with the strawberries, making sure to drizzle all of the juices over the greens. Drizzle the salad with some good quality olive oil, season with a pinch of sea salt and serve.
Tips and substitutions
- Use the freshest strawberries you can find. We want sweetness, not tartness.
- Do not make this strawberry arugula salad ahead of time. It's best when made immediately before serving. We don't want any wilting.
- Use a good, flavorful olive oil. It's a key component, not just a salad dressing binder. We really want to taste it!
- If you don't like basil or mint, try cilantro, parsley, or tarragon.
- To make it vegan, swap maple syrup for the honey.
Additional topping ideas
I think this strawberry arugula salad is perfect just as it is, but if you want to add some more zhuzh, try these ideas.
- Sprinkle it with goat cheese or feta cheese.
- Add raw or candied nuts.
- For more protein, top with grilled chicken or baked salmon.
When to serve a strawberry arugula salad
- This salad makes a perfect light side dish when you serve Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.
- Serve alongside Salt Baked Fish or a simple Roast Chicken.
More strawberry recipes
- Cornmeal Pancakes with Strawberry Compote are made for brunching!
- Vegan Strawberry Milkshake is made with coconut milk ice cream!
- Strawberries are great in cocktails like this Strawberry-Basil Prosecco Punch.
This strawberry arugula salad is quick, fresh, and simple!
- Ready in 15 minutes!
- Easy prep: just slice the strawberries and give them a stir.
- So lazy...the strawberry juices are actually the salad dressing!
- Arugula adds a peppery bite, fresh herbs and lemon add brightness.
- Just 7 ingredients.
- It's dairy free and gluten free!
Strawberry Arugula Salad Recipe
- 4 oz arugula
- 1 cup fresh basil lightly packed
- ½ cup fresh mint lightly packed
- 8 oz strawberries hulled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- 2 tablespoon olive oil to drizzle over salad
- sea salt
- Hull and slice strawberries and place them in a bowl.
- Add lemon zest, lemon juice and honey. Stir to combine and allow to macerate for 10 minutes, or until the juices are running from the strawberries.
- Place arugula in a large bowl. Tear the basil and mint into smaller pieces (small leaves can remain whole). Toss herbs and arugula gently together with your hands.
- Top the salad mixture with the strawberries, making sure to drizzle all of the juices over the greens. Drizzle the salad with some good quality olive oil, season with a pinch of sea salt and serve.