Grilled Char and Arugula Salad

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Freshly back from vacation, where my lo-co diet sadly also took a vacation, I was determined to make better food choices.  So after I unpacked and noticed the veritable forest of arugula growing on my deck planter, I searched online for an arugula recipe.

Photo from Cooking Light

And voila – Cooking Light came through again. Their Arctic Char and Arugula Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette looked intriguing.  And since it was listed in their ‘Eat healthy in 20 minutes…with these superfast, easy main-dish salad recipes,’ I knew I could make this recipe while dealing with mountains of laundry. Woot.

Turns out, this dish is very easy to make and delicious.  Recipe PDF here.  A few things to note:

  • I absolutely LOVE Arctic Char and it’s sold at my local fish market. Many are probably not familiar with this fish, so here are some key Char facts.  Arctic Char delivers loads of heart-healthy oils, is similar to both salmon and trout, is an ‘environmentally responsible seafood choice’ and although it looks like salmon, to me it does not taste like salmon.  Check out wikipedia or New England Aquarium website for more Arctic Char info.
  • This recipe asks you to saute the fish, but I grill it instead.  It’s easy to grill Char (especially since my husband does all grilling, LOL). Here’s how to grill Char: salt, pepper & olive oil both sides of the fish then place it, skin-side-down on a hot grill (he uses a grill screen). Cook 4-6 minutes (depends on thickness) then flip using 2 spatulas and cook another 4-6 minutes.
  • The vinaigrette in this recipe is quite good, but I will make 1 adjustment next time I make this.  As I do not enjoy raw garlic or shallots/onions, I plan to saute the shallots just a bit to remove the raw taste before adding to the vinaigrette.
  • I substituted toasted slivered ALMONDS instead of pine nuts because almonds are a cholesterol-lowering food.  Plus, I was out of pine nuts.   To toast slivered almonds, I just put them on a tray and hit ‘toast’ on my Toaster Oven – but be careful, they burn quickly.

Here’s the photo my son took of the dish I made: pretty close to the Cooking Light photo, no? Especially amazing since we didn’t even break out a real camera – he took this with his iPhone… I guess I could have arranged it more artfully – spread the tomatoes, for example – but I was HUNGRY.

Give this one a whirl.  My husband and I loved it. Our teenager (remember, he’s allergic to lettuce but I told him arugula was different) literally spit it out. But hey, arugula is an acquired taste/on the bitter side: if you don’t love arugula, you can still try this recipe — just substitute spinach or any kind of lettuce and you’ll be good to go.



2 thoughts on “Grilled Char and Arugula Salad

  1. This recipe sounds easy and delicious. I will make it soon. Great picture too!

  2. Sorry, but I am DEFINITELY not going to check out that aquarium website to learn more about char. The only way I can eat fish is if I pretend that “fish” is different than “a fish.” 🙂

    But I do love the sound of this recipe and as my husband has high cholesterol, I will definitely give it a try. I love arugula, too and never would have guessed that it would taste good with fish.

    Ha ha–I laughed at the looks like salmon but doesn’t taste like salmon reference. Why does salmon taste so…salmony? And what can be done about it? I have yet to try a salmon recipe that I thought was really amazing.

    Is salmon, by the way, good for you in terms of low cholesterol? Are all fish good on the low-cho front? But not shrimp? I’m confused!!

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