This bright and refreshing arugula salad with Lemon Basil Dressing is the perfect simple green salad. The arugula is fresh and peppery, and the dressing is bright and full of basil and parmesan flavor!
Recipe: $5.96 | Per Serving: $1.49 | Yield: 4 Servings
This recipe was originally published in December of 2013 - as one of the first recipes on this blog! The photos, text, and instructions have been updated, but the ingredients and taste are the same. Enjoy!
Why This Lemon Basil Dressing makes THE BEST Arugula Salad
This salad dressing made me fall in love with arugula, which remains, to this day, my favorite vegetable. There are other delicious arugula salads that I love. But when I want something simple, bright, and flavorful (that pairs with everything) - this is the way to go!
After falling in love with this salad at a restaurant and figuring out how to recreate it at home, it has become an almost constant plant-based player at our dinner parties.
How to Make the Perfect Lemon Basil Salad Dressing with Parmesan
You'll only need a few of the simplest ingredients:
- Fresh basil
- Fresh lemon juice
- Good quality olive oil
- A block of Parmesan cheese
...And that's it!
Blitz the ingredients in a blender then add it to the base of a large bowl. Add the arugula. Toss until well coated, and top with shaved Parmesan (and more dressing if needed).
It. Is. Epic.
Yes! To make this dairy-free, I recommend adding 1 more Tablespoon of olive oil, and if possible, 1 Tablespoon of hemp seeds. They blend easily and provide a slight creamy/nutty component that works well here. We have made that Whole30 / Paleo version several times when we need a break from dairy.
Yes! Typically it is called arugula in the U.S. and rocket in the U.K. In the 90s and early 2000s, there were still menus using the term rocket, roquette, or rucola, but those terms have been mostly replaced with arugula. More information on the etymology of arugula vs. rocket can be found here!
No, Arugula is not in the lettuce family. Arugula is a member of the mustard family and is usually termed a leafy green by culinary and nutrition professionals.
Arugula is, however, a bitter green, which makes it a therapeutic food for managing heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, and even bloating!
Only if the dressing is too heavy! Thankfully this dressing is light, so it won't wilt the salad unless you let it sit for several days. If you plan to make this and have leftovers, reserve some of your dressing and arugula and only toss them together when you're ready to serve.
I'm telling you all, this is the stuff right here! You can also use this dressing in a variety of ways!
- On a Caprese salad
- As an after-cooking pizza topping (which I highly recommend!)
- It's also amazing as a dressing for summery pasta salads!
Paleo: Nope - but you could definitely omit the Parmesan and it will still be delicious.
More Recipes to Try!
- Easy Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Balsamic Beet Arugula Salad
- Creamy Lemon Tahini Dill Dressing
- Basil Cream Cheese Dip
- Creamy Basil Chicken Salad
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please be sure to leave a ⭐️ review and comment below! For videos of different recipes from my blog, please check out my YouTube channel, and follow me over on Instagram!
PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER!
Lemon Basil Dressing Over Arugula
- 2 ounces fresh basil
- juice of half a large lemon about 2 Tablespoons
- ½ cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese about 1.5 ounces
- pinch of salt and pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 ounces arugula 4 servings
- Add basil, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse until the basil is mostly minced.
- Pour in the olive oil, blending just until the dressing is smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Combine the dressing with fresh arugula and divide among 4 serving bowls. Top with more shaved Parmesan and cracked black pepper, if desired. Eat!