Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Taste of Tapas - Arugula Salad with Manchego Cheese, Marcona Almonds & Membrillo Dressing - Weekend Herb Blogging #171

Arugula Salad
Feel like going to Spain but don't feel like leaving your
neighborhood? Grab a bag of arugula and follow me.

Salad-Spun Arugula
Baby arugula is snappy and musky, but not
rank as large, mature leaves can be.

Membrillo Salad Dressing
Membrillo (Spanish quince paste) dressing is fast and foolproof.

Arugula Salad with Membrillo Dressing - My own recipe

Ingredients (per serving)

2 large handfuls (about 3 cups) very fresh baby arugula leaves, washed and blotted dry (snip stem ends to remove any rust)
1/4 cup small chunks of Manchego cheese broken from a wedge with a knife tip

[Marcona almonds, Manchego cheese, and membrillo can be found in gourmet supermarkets, some Latin markets, and online.]

Optional extras

2 tablespoons chopped oil-cured green olives
2 tablespoons chopped red onions or
2 peeled and smashed shallot cloves, lightly grilled for a few minutes in a skillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil


Fill serving bowl with arugula, then top with cheese and almonds, and any extras. Serve with membrillo dressing on side.

Membrillo Dressing (per serving)


2 generous tablespoons membrillo, softened to room temperature (guava paste also works nicely)
2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
A few cranks fresh black pepper


Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour on salad right before serving. --

This is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging #171 being hosted by yours truly. I'll be back tomorrow night with the luscious round-up. Stay tuned!


  1. That is a wonderful combination. Why did I not think about that? Manchego, membrillo and arugula! And I almost always have those things on hand except in the dead of winter or the heat of summer when arugula disapper from the garden. and if I don't have Manchego, I bet a blue cheese would work too.

    Thank you!

  2. In your first picture, it looks like that one arugula leaf is trying to sneak away.

  3. I've been testing recipes for a tapas class, so I have many of these ingredients on hand. My best find? Marcona almonds at Costco -- affordable, and they're delicious!

  4. This recipe definitely takes me away to sunny Spain, at least for a few savouring moments:D

  5. Membrillo dressing is genius. I love the stuff.

  6. Fantastic pic. I have never tasted membrillo but the dressing looks hot & sexy. Guava paste is it like a guava jelly or no sweet ?

  7. love love love the pictures!!!

  8. That second I said on flickr, exquisite. Soft, pretty, enticing...what more could anyone want?

    Membrillo...purchased! Almonds (well, biodynamic ones at least) purchased! Rocket, fresh from the garden...can't wait.

  9. Wonderful salad, Susan. I loved the colors and the combination of flavors. I will look for some membrillo.

  10. Off to see what membrillo looks like!

  11. Beautiful photos! The salad looks delectable.

  12. Love to try this dressing.
    Where to buy membrillo in the Netherlands?