Spinach and Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan

Meet your new salad crush: a spinach and arugula salad that’s not just a pretty face. Loaded with creamy avo, sweet cherry tomatoes, tender artichoke hearts, and those oh-so-fancy shaved Parmesan curls, it’s the kind of salad that makes you want to eat your greens and brag about it.

Spinach and arugula salad on a small white salad plate with forks on the side.

Italian-Style Side Salad

This salad’s got all the Italian vibes, mixing up a feast of textures and flavors. Think: rich, earthy spinach and kicky arugula, paired with juicy cherry tomatoes and smooth, creamy avocado. Add in the gentle bite of artichoke hearts and a sprinkle of pine nuts for that perfect toasted crunch.

The cherry on top? A generous dusting of shaved Parmesan, lending a salty, umami flair that ties the whole dish together. It’s a visual and taste sensation that’ll have you saying “bellissimo” with every forkful.

Need more salad inspo that’s easy yet fancy? Check out our go-tos: simple classic Strawberry Spring Salad, vibrant Summer Berry Salad, lemony Green Bean Salad with Goat Cheese, zingy Grapefruit Avocado Arugula Salad, and sweet-meets-savory Spinach Gorgonzola Salad with pears and pomegranates.

Spinach and arugula salad with shaved parmesan in a wooden salad bowl.

Why You’ll Crave This Salad Again (and Again):


  • Simply Sophisticated: Who knew throwing together spinach, arugula, and a few kitchen staples could look and taste so luxe? This salad is your shortcut to gourmet without the fuss.
  • Nutrient-Packed: Not only is this salad a feast for the eyes and the palate, but it’s also brimming with good-for-you nutrients. Hello, vitamins and antioxidants!
  • Speedy Gourmet: Whip this up in no time and watch it disappear even faster. It’s the ultimate quick-fix for a nutritious and impressive dinner sidekick.
  • Flexibly Fabulous: This salad fits any occasion, from a cozy dinner at home to the center stage at your next gathering. It’s a crowd-pleaser that complements any meal.

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Seasonal Produce Spotlight

Spinach and Arugula

  • Spinach and arugula thrive in the Pacific Northwest’s cool, misty climates of spring and fall, with spinach peaking after a light frost enhances its natural sweetness.
  • Use spinach within three to five days for optimal nutrient retention; baby spinach is sweet and ideal for salads, while mature leaves are better for cooking.
  • Arugula prefers temperate spring and fall climates and is known for its peppery flavor. It is commonly found at local farmers markets, Food Co-Ops, and CSAs.
  • Spinach is loaded with iron, vitamins A and C; arugula provides calcium and vitamin K.
  • Include these nutrient-rich greens in your salads to highlight the fresh, vibrant flavors nurtured by this region’s distinct climate and soil.

Salad Ingredients

Ingredients for spinach and arugula salad displayed in small bowls with labels.

Be sure to scroll down to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below.

How to “Shave” Parmesan

Shaving Parmesan is a simple technique that adds a touch of elegance to dishes. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose the Right Piece: Start with a block or wedge of Parmesan cheese. Fresh Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) is easier to shave and offers the best flavor.
  2. Use the Right Tool: A vegetable peeler or a cheese slicer is ideal for creating thin, delicate shavings. You can also use a very sharp knife, but it requires a bit more skill to get uniformly thin slices.
  3. Temperature Matters: Parmesan is easier to shave when it’s cold. If it has been out at room temperature, consider chilling it in the refrigerator for a bit to firm it up.
  4. Technique: Hold the Parmesan block securely with one hand. With your other hand, gently draw the peeler or slicer along the narrower edge of the cheese to create thin shavings. If you’re using a knife, carefully slice thin pieces off the edge.
  5. Shave as Needed: It’s best to shave Parmesan right before serving to preserve its flavor and prevent it from drying out.

Shaving Parmesan yourself, rather than buying pre-shaved cheese, can significantly enhance the flavor and texture of your dishes, making this simple effort well worth it.

Recipe Roadmap with Images

1

Toast the Pine Nuts

In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pine nuts for about 3-5 minutes, or until they’re golden and fragrant. Keep an eye on them to avoid burning. Set aside and let them cool.

2

Make the Dressing

For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until well combined.

3

Mix the Greens

In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach and arugula. Toss them gently to mix.

4

Combine With veggies

Add the cherry tomatoes, avocado slices, artichoke hearts, and toasted pine nuts over the greens.

5

Combine with Dressing

Drizzle the dressing over the salad, then toss lightly to ensure all the ingredients are well coated.

6

Plate and Serve

Transfer the salad to serving bowl or salad bowl and top with shaved Parmesan cheese and season with more fresh ground black pepper, if desired. Alternatively, plate the salad on individual salad plates and top with shaved parmesan.

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Spinach and Arugula Salad with Fresh Shaved Parmesan Recipe

Meet your new salad crush: a spinach and arugula salad that's not just a pretty face. Loaded with creamy avo, sweet cherry tomatoes, tender artichoke hearts, and those oh-so-fancy shaved Parmesan curls, it's the kind of salad that makes you want to eat your greens and brag about it.
By: AllieAllie Cleveland
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 311 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 avocado peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 cup canned or marinated artichoke hearts drained and quartered
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • cup Parmesan cheese shaved

For the Dressing

Instructions
 

  • In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pine nuts for about 3-5 minutes, or until they’re golden and fragrant. Keep an eye on them to avoid burning. Set aside and let them cool.
  • For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until well combined.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach and arugula. Toss them gently to mix.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes, avocado slices, artichoke hearts, and toasted pine nuts over the greens.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the salad, then toss lightly to ensure all the ingredients are well coated.
  • Transfer the salad to serving bowl or salad bowl and top with shaved Parmesan cheese and season with more fresh ground black pepper, if desired. Alternatively, plate the salad on individual salad plates and top with shaved parmesan.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy the fresh, vibrant flavors!

Recipe Notes

  • Wanna get a head start on this salad? Chop and chill your veggies ahead except for the avo, and let that dressing join the party last minute to keep things fresh and snappy.
  • Not feeling the pine nuts? We got you! Swap in walnuts for a bit of earthiness, almonds for a hint of sweetness, or cashews for that crunch. Your salad, your rules.
  • If you find yourself with extra greens, stash them in the fridge solo. Dress them up only when you’re ready for round two to keep them crisp and lively.
  • Who says salads can’t be filling? Top this green masterpiece with your protein fave—grilled chicken, juicy shrimp, or even a slice of steak. It’s a surefire way to turn a side dish into main event material.
  • Keeping it vegan? Substitute Parmesan with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast or a vegan cheese alternative for that cheesy, umami kick without the dairy.
  • Bored of balsamic? Mix things up with a zesty lemon vinaigrette or try it with our herb-alicious basil balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It’s all about dressing for the occasion (or your mood).
  • If you are not feeling arugula’s spicier vibes, mellow it out with more spinach or go for baby romaine or mixed greens. Because hey, salad should make you happy!

Nutrition

Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.3g | Protein: 7.8g | Fat: 24.9g | Saturated Fat: 4.5g | Cholesterol: 5.4mg | Sodium: 474.3mg | Fiber: 8.8g | Sugar: 1.9g

*Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Maplevine Kitchen makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Keyword artichoke hearts, arugula, avocado, balsamic vinegar, easy salad, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, spinach
Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, but for the best texture and freshness, it’s recommended to assemble the salad just before serving. You can prep the ingredients (except for the avocado) ahead and store them separately in the fridge.

Once dressed, the salad is best enjoyed immediately. However, undressed salad can last in the fridge for a day or two; just keep the dressing on the side until you’re ready to serve.

Walnuts, slivered almonds, or cashews make great alternatives if pine nuts are unavailable or if you’re looking for a different flavor or texture.

Absolutely! Grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, or even slices of steak can turn this side salad into a hearty main dish.

Of course! While the balsamic vinaigrette complements the salad well, feel free to use your favorite vinaigrette dressing. A lemon vinaigrette or this balsamic basil vinaigrette could be excellent alternatives.

If arugula’s bold flavor isn’t your favorite, you can substitute it with more spinach or a mix of milder greens like baby romaine or mixed salad greens.

What to Serve with Spinach and Arugula Salad

This spinach and arugula salad, with its blend of fresh flavors and textures, pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes. Here are some great options to consider:

  • Fish or Chicken: Pairing the salad with fish or poultry adds a lean protein option that balances the freshness of the greens, perfect for a nutritious dinner. Our Italian-inspired Oven-Baked Pesto Crusted Salmon, our quick Salmon Milano (Pesto Butter Salmon), and our Lemon Herb-Crusted Cod recipes would pair perfectly with this salad’s crisp greens and tangy balsamic dressing.
  • Pasta Dishes: Light pasta dishes, especially those with a lemony or herby sauce, work well with this salad, offering a satisfying but not overly heavy meal option. Like our recipes for Pasta Magnifico (Linguine in Citrus Cream Sauce) and Ricotta Pesto Pasta with Peas and Artichokes.
  • Quiche or Savory Tart: A rich, egg-based dish like baked eggs, quiche, or a savory tart brings a comforting element that contrasts nicely with the crispness of the salad. Try our Italian Baked Eggs in Marcella’s Tomato Sauce or our Asparagus Ricotta Tart.
  • Risotto: A creamy, flavorful risotto, particularly one with mushrooms or spring vegetables, would be a lovely, comforting partner to the fresh salad.
  • Pizza: A simple, artisan-style pizza with a thin crust and gourmet toppings like goat cheese, arugula, and prosciutto offers a delightful mix of flavors and textures when served alongside the salad.
  • Soup: Pair the salad with a light, broth-based soup for a comforting and healthful meal. Think along the lines of minestrone, vegetable, or a spring pea soup.

These pairings are versatile enough to suit a casual lunch, a cozy dinner, or even a more formal gathering, allowing the salad to shine as part of a balanced, flavorful meal.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a rating in the comments below and let us know how it turned out. Your feedback is important to us. Thank you for visiting Maplevine Kitchen!

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