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Arugula Salad With Whole-Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

Excerpted from ‘Salad Seasons: Vegetable-Forward Dishes All Year’ by Sheela Prakash

spinner image salad with arugula and sliced almonds in bowl with wooden tongs
Kristin Teig

Serves 4

The thought of using an entire lemon — flesh, peel, and all — might sound nothing short of crazy, but it’s no-waste brilliance at its very best. Not only are you throwing away half of the citrus fruit when you simply squeeze out its juice and toss the spent halves, you’re missing out on big flavor, too. The vibrant peel, bitter pith, and lip-puckering flesh are bold elements that, when combined with buttery almonds, a touch of sweet honey, and a generous glug of olive oil, make for a complex vinaigrette that’s unlike anything you’ve had before. It’s the perfect counterpart for just about any type of lettuce, but it’s especially lovely with arugula because it balances the greens’ peppery bite. 

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  • ¼ cup sliced raw almonds, divided
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 ounces arugula (about 5 packed cups)



spinner image cookbook that says salad seasons with bowl of vegetables and cheese; on wooden table with vegetables and plants behind it
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: Rizzoli, Getty Images (2))

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring halfway through, until lightly golden, about five minutes. Let cool for five minutes.

Trim the stem end off the lemon, cut the lemon into quarters, and remove any seeds. Transfer to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until roughly chopped, about 15 pulses (see “Notes” below). Take a peek to see if you missed any seeds, and if so, remove them with a spoon.

Add half of the almonds, the garlic, honey, a generous pinch of salt, and several grinds of pepper. Pulse until the lemon and almonds are finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed, about 30 pulses more.

Transfer the lemon and almond mixture to an airtight jar or container. Add the olive oil, seal the jar, and shake to combine and emulsify.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl, drizzle with half the vinaigrette, and toss to combine. Add more vinaigrette, if desired, a spoonful at a time, until the salad is dressed to your liking. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with the remaining toasted almonds.



No food processor? You can still make this vinaigrette by chopping the lemon and almonds by hand. The end result will be a bit rougher in texture but still delicious.

Store leftover vinaigrette right in its jar in the refrigerator for up to a week. I love spooning it on salmon, shrimp, white fish like cod or halibut, or chicken before baking in the oven, where it transforms into a bright and cheerful sauce.


Try More Salad Recipes

Salmon BLT Salad With Spicy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing from Truly Simple: 140 Healthy Recipes for Weekday Cooking by Kristin Cavallari

Miso-Maple Sugar Snap Pea, Turnip and Strawberry Salad from Tenderheart: A Cookbook About Vegetables and Unbreakable Family Bonds by Hetty Lui McKinnon

Baby Kale and Strawberry Salad from Vegetable Revelations: Inspiration for Produce-Forward Cooking by Steven Satterfield

Summer Panzanella from A Dish for All Seasons: 125+ Recipe Variations for Delicious Meals All Year Round by Kathryn Pauline

Main Salad Article

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