A return to the salad days

Satur Farms wild arugula with shaved Starkrimson pears, Bra Tenero, toasted hazelnuts, and a lemon-mustard vinaigrette.

First, I must gush a bit about the greens from Satur Farms.  I became familiar with their superb micro greens in the kitchens of Bouchon and Per Se, and since then, seek out their produce for my own home meals whenever possible.  Their wild arugula is the real deal– Eruca sylvatica– deep green spiked leaves with a hearty pepper flavor.  The perfect base on which to build a bright and full-flavored salad.  

Second, I know what you’re thinking.  Arugula and pears?  What you may call a humdrum cliche pairing, I prefer to call “classic.”  It just works so well!  And I had lovely pears on hand, begging to be utilized, so why fight it?  Though it’s the very tail end of the season for the Starkrimson pears, these guys proved to be excellent specimens– and their floral sweetness was a great match for the buttery tang of the Piedmont cheese.  And hazelnuts are always a welcome addition to any arugula salad, their creamy sweet crunchiness an excellent foil to the peppery bite and succulence of the greens.  I used the Bra Tenero because that’s what I had on hand, but you could use a saltier cheese if you wanted to turn up the dial a bit. Tongue-tingly Provolone Piccante or a pungent blue such as Fourme d’Ambert would be fantastic.