This rocket salad features salty parmesan, sweet cranberries, and spicy red onion in a zippy lemon apricot vinaigrette! It's quick, nutritious, and BIG on flavor.
Eating your greens shouldn't be a chore! If it is, it's time to up your salad game. And trust me, this easy rocket salad is the perfect way to do it.
Rocket (arugula) has a peppery bite that pairs well with a bright pop of citrus. For this flavor-packed salad, I made a super quick lemon apricot vinaigrette! My secret? Apricot jam!
Rocket is another term for arugula, a spicy yet delicate leafy green. It's in the same family as broccoli and it's used for more than just salads!
It's pulsed into pesto, topped on pizza, and tossed into pasta. This rocket parmesan salad is my favorite way to use it! So quick, so simple, but BIG on flavor.
- Rocket - I just bought a 5-ounce clamshell. You can find arugula in the plastic clamshells or the plastic bags. Just give it a once over to make sure the leaves look fresh and bright green. Nothings worse than wet or slimy leafy greens!
- Shaved parmesan - You can find shaved parmesan in the deli section or you can buy a block and shave it yourself. Just use a vegetable peeler or the slicing blade on a box grater to do it yourself.
- Dried cranberries - Sweet bites of cranberries are a nice contrast to the salty cheese and peppery arugula.
- Pistachios - Nuts add a great texture!
- Red onion - Red onions add crunch with a kick. I love them in salads and salsas. If you can't stomach them, just leave them off.
How to Make Rocket Salad
Parmesan and rocket salad takes less than 10 minutes to make!
Make the dressing
In a mini food processor, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, apricot jam, dijon mustard, and pinch of kosher salt.
Pulse for 20 seconds or so until the mixture is smooth and thick.
Assemble the rocket salad
In a large bowl, combine the arugula, shaved parmesan, dried cranberries, pistachios, and sliced red onion.
Drizzle ⅔rds of the lemon vinaigrette onto the salad and toss with two large forks or salad tongs. Don't add all the dressing at once. You can always add more, but you can't take it out. I ended up using about ¾ths of it.
Serve and enjoy! As a side dish, this salad serves 3 to 4 people.
- Pulse the dressing in a food processor or with an immersion blender. You won't regret it! It makes the dressing thick, creamy, and smooth. I rarely use a whisk for salad dressing anymore. It's just not the same.
- Add the salad dressing to taste. You can always add more to it. I like my salad lightly dressed, so I didn't use all of the dressing.
One of the beauties of salad recipes is how customizable they are. Try one of these simple swaps if you don't have all the ingredients.
- Greens - If you can't find arugula or rocket greens, try baby kale, mixed greens, or baby spinach.
- Nuts - If you don't have pistachios, try chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds.
- Toppings - Add chopped apples or pomegranate arils. I had planned to add pomegranate, but the one I bought was bad.
Rocket is a leafy green with a bold, peppery bite. It's not actually lettuce but a part of the brassica family along with broccoli, cauliflower, and mustard greens. It's referred to as arugula, rucola, or roquette and can be found year-round at your local grocery store.
Yes, rocket is low in calories, fat, and carbs, but packed with immune-boosting nutrients. It's high in calcium, folate, and Vitamins C, K, and A. It's full of disease-fighting antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds.
More Salad Recipes
- Quinoa Salad with Feta & Peaches
- Spinach Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette & Pears
- Easy Pesto Egg Salad
- Herby Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Chickpeas
- Simple Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe
- Large Bowl
For the salad:
- 5 ounces arugula
- ½ cup shaved parmesan
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup shelled pistachios
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice fresh squeezed, about 1 large lemon
- 3 tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- pinch of salt
- First, make the dressing. In a small food processor, pulse the olive oil, lemon juice, apricot jam, dijon mustard, and salt until thick and smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the rocket greens, shaved parmesan, dried cranberries, pistachios, and thinly sliced red onion.
- Pour ⅔rds of the salad dressing onto the salad and toss with two large forks. Taste the salad and if you like it heavier dressed, add more salad dressing and toss again.