Easy Arugula Salad

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Arugula Salad  | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

My husband’s is typically not a big fan of salad but simply eats it because he know it’s good for his health.  Several years ago, he came home quite excited after having lunch at his Dutch coworker’s house.  He told me the coworker had served a simple and delicious easy Arugula Salad and he absolutely loved it.

Arugula Salad | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

My husband then made the salad for me soon after and I really liked it as well, and we eat this salad at least once every other week now.  What I like about this salad is that it’s easy to make (it takes about 5 minutes!) and you only need a few ingredients.

Besides Arugula, you are likely to have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already – good olive oil, fresh lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper, salt, and good Parmesan cheese (not from the bottle!).  This salad might look simple, but the taste is fairly complex.  The peppery bitter taste of arugula accented with tangy lemon juice, and blended with slices of Parmesan cheese is quite addicting.  I hope you’ll give this simple salad a try if you like arugula.

Arugula Salad | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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Arugula Salad
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 7 cups (5.6 oz/158g) arugla
  • 1.1 oz (30 g) Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • ½ – ⅔ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  1. Rinse the arugula in cold running water and drain well. Place it in the serving bowl.
  2. For dressing, drizzle the olive oil, lemon juice, and sprinkle freshly ground black pepper and salt.
  3. Slice the cheese into 1mm thickness and sprinkle over the salad.
  4. Toss everything before serving to an individual plate.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

Now it’s time for giveaway!

WAFU Japanese Vinaigrette ReviewWe really love WAFU® Japanese dressings, and I reviewed their dressings and gave away to some readers last year (read the post here).  Their dressings are so delicious and they taste very authentic.  We recommended WAFU dressings to our friends and their original sesame dressing is our go-to dressing when I don’t have time to make my Homemade Sesame Dressing.

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  1. faithy

    Interesting! I didn’t know it is called Arugula.. I always call it Wild Rocket leaves. 😀 I learn something new today! 😀
    I love this as well….esp. on my pizza! 😀

  2. For some reason, we call arugula, ‘rocket’. This is such a simple salad but the flavours work very well and it’s fantastic to enjoy in summer. Looks wonderful Nami xx

  3. I love arugula! :) And your dressing couldn’t be more refreshing and so simple to prepare. I don’t think I’ve ever try Wafu’s dressing yet. I’m heading over to enter the giveaway now. :) They sounds delicious and I trust your review.

  4. There is something so refreshing and rewarding about eating a great green salad in the summer time. Arugula with olive oil and lemon is wonderful! So glad you shared this recipe. Love the all-natural Wafu dressings =)

  5. Aren’t we the same all over the world! Our favourite salad too. We were in Italy last month and brought a chunk of very fresh creamy parmesan home – what a treat!

  6. I love arugula salad just like this. At my local farmer’s market, there is a wonderful stand that sells organic greens, including the most beautiful and delicious arugula and mixed greens. I’m totally hooked and buy a bunch every Sunday that I get to visit.

  7. When I see this salad… it looks clean and healthy. I love the simple ingredients and then you give it some extra yumminess with the shaved Parmesan cheese. I can see why your hubby loves it. :)

    Have a great weekend!

  8. We love arugula, too! The slightly spicy yet distinctive flavor really stands out nicely! My hubby is like yours… He eats salad only because he should ;). The dressings sound sooo good! I’m a fan of Asian dressings, of course :)

  9. Candice

    Yum! I love arugula. Interesting to know that what people are referring to as “rocket leaves” is actually arugula.

    The ingredients used for this salad is similar to the ingredients of a kale salad I recently made. As my family isn’t a fan of cheese, would it be okay to omit it?

    • Hi Candice! Forgot where I saw it, but could be Trader Joe’s package… it says rocket leaves on package and that’s how I learned the different name. :) Sure you can omit the cheese, but it’s my most favorite part of this recipe – spicy arugula and good Parmesan cheese! 😉

  10. You know, in Australia we call Arugula ‘Rocket’. Now I am here in the US I have to remember to call it ‘Arugula’ – no matter, I love a good salad made with those spicy leaves regardless of their name! This one looks so simple, fresh and delish :)

  11. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    I’ve always had arugula on pizza, never try this on salad by itself, but this definitely looks very refreshing. Hope you’re enjoying your time with your family.

  12. Eha

    As I have 1-2 salads daily summer and winter arugula is a dear friend. Must admit I have not added cheese for the longest time, so thanks for jogging my memory banks :) !!

  13. I was on an arugula kick last summer. Every day, I would make some sort of arugula salad, but I just could not find a good pre-made dressing to go with it (lazy summer days = no energy to make my own dressing). Your recipe seems simple enough, I’ll have to try it soon! Oh did I mention that I only found out what arugula was when I went to Europe? I kept seeing “rocket” salads on the menu, and I could not figure out what this amazing ingredient was and why it wasn’t available in the US. 😛

  14. I adore arugula and this salad looks wonderful Nami! Love the sound of the dressing. Such a refreshing and perfect light meal for summer:)

  15. Good Morning Nami!! Your husband has it right, arugula is fabulous. I have a similar story. Years ago I had seen arugula and while I like salads, I’m not so adventurous in trying greens (I still can’t get into kale). One day though, I was with friends who had ordered a cheese plate, and on the side rested some oiled greens. Thinking my nutrition could use a boost, I tried one of the greens and the peppery bite lit up my mouth! I cleaned that plate and decided I needed to figure out what the oil was that made the green so good. Fast forward, and I know it’s the arugula that brings that awesome flavor, and this salad serves perfectly to highlight it. Lemon and cheese, perfect compliments!! He’s on to something!

    • Thank you Kim! I enjoyed reading your arugula story! 😀 This is so simple, but it’s not common way to eat salad in Japan, and it was a great discovery for me. :)

  16. What a beautiful simple salad, Nami. Parmesan goes perfectly well with arugula. I have arugula quite often, but usually I mix it with other leaves. I grow it on my balcony. It grows quickly and easily like weed 😉
    By the way, I am preparing your salted salmon for my husband (he is the salmon fan at home). I cross my fingers! I will tell you how it ended up and if it works I will try it with other fish this time for me 😉

  17. Shen must have really like that salad to come home and make it for you! Our men are definitely motivated by their stomachs. :) Bobby does the same thing sometimes. He saw a recipe the other day that look really good to him so he made it for me last night. It was delicious as well. In fact this wonderful arugula salad would have been a great side for it. I love the simplicity of this salad and I can taste the peppery arugula with the Parmesan. Sounds and looks wonderful!

  18. Kathi

    Haven’t tried any of the dressings (yet); but I made this super easy arugula salad of yours today & it’s a hit (of course). Way to use my plethora of lemons from my lovely lemon tree! Thank you!

  19. I always enjoy a good arugula salad full of bursting fresh flavors for my senses. My husband isn’t that much into arugula although I am trying my level best. Maybe he ll enjoy your salad nami. =)

  20. guillaume

    Hi, I’m pretty disappointed by this recipe, wich is excellent but personnaly I’m looking for “new” recipe and this is a pretty common already seen. Doesn’t educate them.
    And I’ll love to learn new recipe

    • Thank you for your feedback, Guillaume! This blog is somewhere I keep a collection of my family’s favorite recipes (read more in my About page) with focus on simple and tasty recipes. A lot of readers from different parts of world (including Japan) are not familiar with using arugula in cooking and I believe it’s worth the share since it’s easy and delicious. :)

  21. Asami

    In Germany we call arugula/rocket rucola, reading English recipes calling for rocket confused me at first. I love to top my rucola sald with toasted pine nuts/sunflowers seeds.

    • In Japan, we call it Rucola (I didn’t know how to spell it as we write ルッコラ)!! I had no idea why we call it, and now you told me that’s how you call it in Germany! Thanks for your comment! :)

        • That makes sense. Japan has so many Italian restaurants and probably this salad became popular from Italian restaurants! 😀 Thanks Asami!

          • Nami, we (my fiance and I) have been using your recipes in Italia! People here are amaaaazed at the Nama chocolate and surprised (probably not so pleasantly) with the green tea gelato! :) Thank you so much for your blog!!!
            xxx Catt

            • Hi Catt! So happy to hear my Nama Chocolate recipe is liked by the Italians! Haha, real matcha taste must be very bitter for someone who’s never tried matcha before…and it’s in sweets. Must be very strange concept. 😉 Thank you for your feedback, Catt!

  22. I didn`t like eating salads before, but I actually do now! The only thing is, I would only eat it if the dressing is good! And this salad is simple and so is the dressing!

  23. Farnaz (The Pomegranate Diaries)

    I love this salad! I make it all the time. Sometimes I add fruit and/or avocado to it and it’s delicious……my favourite is with sliced peaches and avocado or watermelon.

  24. We had arrugula with semi-dried tomatoes the night before and so had a bunch of arrugula leftover. It was way too bitter! But then I chopped up two of the tomatoes and added them to this recipe and it was divine! Thanks so much for such a simple yet delicious recipe! We used Himalayan sea salt and it was amazing! The salt/parmesan helps cover the bitter taste a lot!
    Catt xxx

    • Hi Catt! I am sorry for my late response. I just found this comment in my inbox. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. I love Himalayan sea salt too! Thanks again!