This Rocket Salad is a fresh, flavorful salad that makes the perfect side dish for any meal.
It is incredibly simple to make, yet it looks and tastes like it came straight from a fancy cafe, bistro, or restaurant.
The show's star is the rocket, also known as arugula, which adds a peppery kick to the salad. And the Parmesan cheese brings a salty, nutty flavor that complements the rocket perfectly. The sweetness of the balsamic glaze is just right to complement the peppery taste of the rocket and the salty creaminess of the parmesan.
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These notes are here to help make this recipe a success; they cover some but not all ingredients. For a complete ingredient list, check out the recipe card below.
Rocket: Known as Arugula in the United States, this salad leaf has a peppery bite. I like to use Baby Rocket as it has beautiful leaves, and while still peppery, it has no bitterness.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Use the best quality oil you can afford. The oil is the only dressing to coat all the leaves, so it is worth using the good stuff. You can find excellent quality EVOO in grocery stores these days and from boutique producers online.
Parmesan: You want a block of parmesan as you will shave slices from it to add some body to the salad. Look for Italian parmesan it is the only one worth buying!
Balsamic Glaze: This sweet, sticky vinegar glaze is so delicious. You'll find it in the oil and vinegar section of the grocery store. It is about the same price as balsamic vinegar but packs a sweet tang. It is thick and drizzles perfectly.
Black Pepper: You want a coarse black pepper for this, so buy a cracked black pepper or use a pepper mill/grinder. Refrain from using the fine stuff that comes in a paper shaker. It's better to leave out the pepper than use this.
We've tested this recipe at least 3 times to ensure it works well for you. Have a look at our tips for getting the best dish you can!
- Don't dress the salad in advance; the leaves will go soggy.
- Use a potato peeler or a thin, sharp knife to shave slices of the parmesan onto the salad.
- You shouldn't need salt on the salad as the parmesan is salty enough.
Why You'll Love This Rocket Salad
These are all just suggestions and things that have worked in our test kitchen, but it is your dinner, so adapt it to suit your family. That is the beauty of cooking; we can all create our own delicious meals.
- Turn your salad into a lunch by adding some shredded chicken or sliced steak.
- Add some baby spinach leaves to the salad.
- Add slices of avocado.
- Add some thinly sliced pear or apple.
- Add crunch with some nuts sprinkled over. Pinenuts would be perfect!
This salad goes with just about any main course! It is perfect with pasta and roasted or grilled meats.
I often serve it as a side next to:
Get the Recipe
- 4 cups rocket/arugula
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons balsamic glaze
- Place rocket/arugula in a bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle over the black pepper, then toss it to coat the leaves.
- Transfer to a serving dish.
- Use a potato peeler to shave over the parmesan cheese.
- Drizzle the salad with the balsamic glaze and serve immediately.
Nutrition is per serving