This Insalata Romantica recipe is so simple it’s ridiculous. But it’s so good!
Sometimes easy salad recipes are the best, and this is one of those recipes! Insalata Romantica translates to “Romantic Salad” in Italian. I spotted this 5-ingredient salad recipe in a long-lost cookbook quite a few years ago, and it was such a basic salad recipe that I thought I surely had to give it a try. I’m so glad I did. My husband and I have enjoyed this simple salad recipe for so many years now. It’s a recipe I reach for when I really don’t feel like doing a whole lot in the kitchen.
4 Simple Ingredients:
- Arugula: You can just buy arugula that is already torn and sold in a tub or a bag. If you are not familiar with arugula, it’s a green that has a little bit of a different peppery flavor to it. I love arugula salads so much, but you can always substitute your favorite lettuce for the arugula if it’s not something you like.
- Pine Nuts: The baking aisle in your market usually sells a very small bag of pine nuts you can use for this salad. I like to buy the large bag of pine nuts at Costco and keep it in the freezer.
- Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese: Cheese makes a difference here. If you just use regular old Parmesan cheese for this salad, it’s not going to be all that awesome. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is special. Go for that!
- Olive Oil: What kind of olive oil you use in this Insalata Romantica makes a difference too. Cheap olive oil won’t be too flavorful. Use your best, most flavorful olive oil for this recipe.
- Balsamic Vinegar: I don’t find that balsamic vinegars vary too much in flavor, but if you have a good bottle of balsamic then use that one in this salad recipe.
- Salt and Pepper: These aren’t counted in the ingredients since they’re staples in your kitchen.
How to toast pine nuts:
You’ll need toasted pine nuts for this Insalata Romantica! To toast the pine nuts, heat a skillet to medium heat. Add the pine nuts to the pan and stir often until they begin to turn golden. Remove the pine nuts to a bowl or a paper towel to cool. Don’t take your eyes off the pan. Pine nuts can go from toasted to burned quickly if not watched! If you love pine nuts as much as I do, you will most definitely want to try my Avocado Pine Nut Salad recipe too.
How to make Insalata Romantica:
Divide the arugula between two bowls. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts on top. Add the shaved parmesan too. Then drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top. Season with salt and pepper. That’s it!
I know it sounds so ridiculously simple, but that’s the beauty of it all. It’s delicious! And what makes it a “romantic” salad? Well, because it takes such little time to prepare… that gives you more time for romance! Enjoy!
- 3 cups torn arugula, cleaned and dried
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- ⅓ cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Divide the arugula between two bowls. Top with pine nuts. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic on top. That's it- so easy! (alternately, you can toss in one bowl and then serve from there)
- Amounts of olive oil, balsamic and Parmesan used may vary based on preference.