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Arugula Salad with Jalapeño Vinaigrette


Using pickling liquid in a salad dressing is an easy way to boost flavor while also adding acidity. In this vinaigrette, pickled jalapeños bring heat while their liquid lends an extra dose of green-chili earthiness. The pumpkin seeds and avocado offer enough richness to make the salad a light main course, or pair it with sliced grilled skirt steak or hearty grains, such as barley, farro, or quinoa.

Serves 4


  • 3 to 4 tablespoons pickled jalapeño slices, chopped, plus ¼ cup pickling liquid
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 cups lightly packed baby arugula
  • 3 radishes, halved and thinly sliced or ½ English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro or 4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 2 ripe but firm avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the jalapeños and their liquid, the oil and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

2. Add the arugula, radishes, cilantro and half of the pumpkin seeds, then toss. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the avocado.

3. Transfer to a serving bowl, then sprinkle with the remaining pumpkin seeds.

© 2020 by Christopher Kimball. Excerpted from Milk Street: Cookish by permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY.

Images © Connie Miller.

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