Blue moon rocket salad

I’m a big believer in letting the lettuce speak for itself. If you have fresh greens a light touch of a good dressing is all that is necessary. But once in a blue moon I like to sex up the salad with all kinds of goodies. Recently I made this for my wife to take to a baby shower and apparently the gaggle of giggling women were so enamored with the salad that they actually forgot about the baby for a few minutes – or so my wife tells me.

To be honest this recipe comes out a little different every time. I use what’s in my cupboard as a guide and improvise. I encourage you to do the same. I call for a specific olive oil and specific vinegar because I love them, but feel free to use what you will.


For the salad

  • Rocket (aka Arugula)
  • Maytag blue cheese
  • Figs, sliced into bite sized pieces

For the toppings

For the dressing


  • Frying pan
  • Salad bowl
  • Salad spinner
  • Small bowl
  • Small whisk or fork


  1. Toast your pecans in the frying pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add a few dollops of clarified butter and mix well.
  3. Add a few healthy pinches of brown sugar, stirring constantly. The idea is to coat the pecans with the butter/sugar mixture. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Wash and dry the lettuce.
  5. Crumble the cheese on top of the lettuce.
  6. Cut up the figs into bite sized pieces and place on top.
  7. Mix two-thirds olive oil to one-third vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste and whisk until it emulsifies. Taste and adjust. When ready drizzle over the salad and toss lightly.
  8. Add pecans and serve.

What you should know

There are any number of ingredients that you could substitute or add to this recipe. Walnuts, raisins, mandarin oranges, oranges, blood oranges, dates, Fuji apples, carrots, Asian pear, Bartlett pear, pistachios (shelled), cherry tomatoes, pineapple tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes are just a few of the delectables I have tossed on top. It’s hard to go wrong.

You can also buy candied pecans at the store and skip a few steps. I’m too cheap. If you do make them be sure to let them cool before you put them on the salad.

My variation

I have a variation on this that I’ve been doing a lot. I can’t eat nuts so I use hemp to get the nuttiness and the crunch. Also, I eat far too much cheese so I tend to go a different direction here. Sometimes I use dates, sometimes avocado. A particular combo that works for me is:

  • rocket
  • cucumber, diced
  • avocado, diced
  • red onion, roughly chopped
  • hemp seeds, toasted and crushed a little

For the dressing, I can’t get the blackcurrant vinegar, so I use a mix of balsamic, white wine vinegar and Ribena.

Re: Blue moon rocket salad