Roka (arugula) is one of the most underestimated leafy greens, despite packing lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It’s numerous health benefits are well known. Arugula is native to the Mediterranean and is definitely a green that should be added to more plates worldwide. The Greeks eat plenty of arugula as a “Roka Salata” and is traditionally served as just roka, topped with thin slices of local cheese and dressing. To add more essence to the salad, it is common to add walnuts, pine nuts and sundried or fresh tomatoes to the mixing bowl. This is a common salad throughout Greece.
Because the strong peppery taste of arugula can be a turn off to some, simply add romaine lettuce to the salad to temper the arugula. I make mine solely with arugula, and just add extra toppings like walnuts for extra crunch, and tomatoes for a juicy bite. The best thing about the Roka Salad is that it takes no time at all to put together, and still stands out on a dinner table. The Roka Salata is perfect as a main salad alongside chicken, fish or even pasta dishes.
- 2 cups (or 5 oz) of arugula
- Kefalotyri cheese, shaved*
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or sundried tomatoes)
- ¼ cup walnuts or pinenuts
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash arugula and add to a bowl along with the tomatoes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper.
- Drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss well.
- Top with shaved Kefalotyri and walnuts and serve.