A few years ago I wrote a post called Salads 101: Everything You Need To Know, which discussed how to create a perfectly balanced salad based around our four main tastes: sweet, salty, bitter and sour. This salad has every one of these taste components and it’s awesome.
There aren’t a ton of ingredients here. To create that perfect balance I use baby arugula (bitter), Hawaiian sweet rolls (sweet), lemon juice (sour) and good quality feta cheese (salty). I recommend using the feta blocks that come packed in water as opposed to the pre-crumbled stuff. It costs a little bit more but it’s really worth it when you have a dish that relies on just a few basic ingredients. If you’ve never tried Hawaiian sweet rolls, take note that they’re not sugary sweet. They have a light honey-flavored sweetness. Challah or brioche would also work here but the sweetness won’t be quite as pronounced.
Yields 2 salads
5 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 2 Hawaiian sweet rolls, cubed (see notes)
- 1 zucchini, sliced into quarters lengthwise
- 1/4 cup good quality feta, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for croutons
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- baby arugula
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Place the cubed sweet rolls in a bowl and toss with a small amount of olive oil. Place the rolls on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Toast in the oven, checking every 5 minutes and flipping when the bottoms turn golden so that they crisp evenly. This should take around 15 minutes total. Set aside.
- Preheat a grill until very hot. Brush a light coating of high heat oil or clarified butter on the zucchini. Place the zucchini slices on the grill and cook for 2 minutes, uncovered, then flip and cook the other sides for an additional 2 minutes.
- Place the 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously to emulsify the ingredients.
- Place a large handful of baby arugula on 2 salad plates. Top each salad with 2 slices of zucchini, 2 tablespoons of feta and some of the croutons (there may be leftover croutons; save for later use).
- Drizzle lightly with vinaigrette.
It's best to used 1-2 day old sweet rolls because they will be much easier to cut into croutons. I used King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.