Arugula Salad with Quinoa and Watermelon | Terrific Toronto

By Sally Cameron on July 10, 2013

Salads and Dressings, the daniel plan, travel,

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Terrific Toronto. That’s what we now call this fabulous Canadian city. We just got back from a week there and wanted to share a few highlights, and a recipe for a simple, tasty and healthy salad we enjoyed one afternoon.

As much as we love to travel, and between us have been to Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, and Asia, we have not spent much time in the beautiful country just to our north: Canada. Invited to a wedding, we went in advance to explore and discover what Toronto had to offer.

Toronto grafitti

The fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a multicultural marvel. With great restaurants and dining, museums, music, art, culture, architecture, sports venues, Lake Ontario, and proximity to Niagara Falls, it has plenty for everyone.

St Lawrence Market

The first day we headed to the market. Where else would you start? St. Lawrence Market was rated the number 1 food market in the world by National Geographic. It’s a fantastic enclosed market with amazing produce, cheese, meat, seafood, wine, and specialty items. I giddily glaze over in places like this, wandering through, mind racing with inspiration for what to do with  the bounty before me…and wondering how much I can stuff in my luggage.

One discovery was Kozlick’s Canadian Mustard. With thirty marvelous flavors to choose from, it was hard to decide what to bring home. I chose the tarragon and  their best seller, a maple mustard blend. The tarragon is classic French flavor and the maple is pure Canadian, with a sweet heat. Great for vinaigrettes, sauces, roasting and mores. I love mustard!  And with cheese counters overflowing with tempting types we wished we could try them all.

st lawrence market

After St Lawrence Market, we walked to the Distillery District. A designated historic site, the Distillery District is an outstanding example of Victorian industrial design from the 1800′s. Comprised of brick buildings which once housed the largest distillery in the world. Today, there are restaurants, art galleries, and shopping in truly unique, boutique stores.

One store I went crazy in was Crescendo. Purveyors of oils, vinegars and spices, we tasted our way through the store. The big hit for me was creme vinegar. Creme, as in creme of the crop because of the quality. These special vinegars are barrel aged for years in the German Alps. I bought date creme vinegar and apple creme vinegar.

When I run out, I researched and found they’ve just opened a store in Fort Collins, CO, so I will order and ship from there. You have got try to these vinegars. Like nothing you have ever tasted. Low acidity, almost syrupy. I dressed salad with the apple cider version tonight, but can’t wait to try it in many other ways.

Toronto Distillery District

The shopkeeper at Crescendo suggested we try Pure Spirits for lunch. It was a great suggestion. You get the best recommendations by talking with people when  you travel. A warm sunny day, we ate on the outdoor patio, although the inside of the restaurant looked really neat.

Pure Spirits Restaurant

This recipe is my take on the terrific, healthy salad I had for lunch. A combination of baby spinach and arugula greens, the salad also had chunks of watermelon, a sprinkle of quinoa and a little cheese with a light vinaigrette. I snapped a quick picture to remember to create the recipe.

Toronto has quite a fine dining scene. While there, we enjoyed terrific meals at Scaramouche and Harbour Sixty, but our favorite dinner was at Splendidio. Fantastic food and service!

Royal Ontario Museum "ROM"

Toronto has it’s share of museums. We spent a rainy afternoon at the ROM, the Royal Ontario Museum of natural history. It was fascinating with many great exhibits.

Another interesting part of Toronto we had to see was Graffiti Alley. We spent hours exploring this long avenue of street art. What a place for photography! We took too many fantastic shots to share in this post, but here are a couple.

Toronto Graffiti alley

Toronto Graffiti alley

If you have the opportunity to visit Toronto, go! And if you need a suggestion on where to stay, we really enjoyed the boutique Hotel Le Germain on Maple Leafs Square. It was a great location that allowed us to walk most everywhere and grab a taxi when we were too pooped from miles on foot.

For the best website on what to do when visiting Toronto, go to See Toronto Now.It’s packed with great ideas!

Toronto skyline

Print Recipe

Arugula Salad with Quinoa and Watermelon | Terrific Toronto

Light and refreshing, this salad covers all of the bases with fresh greens, high-protein quinoa, tangy feta, sweet watermelon, and rich walnuts. It makes a nice lunch. For a heartier meal, add grilled chicken or shrimp. I’ve added my own vinaigrette to the recipe. If you are dairy-free, omit the cheese.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive avocado or walnut oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons champagne use a light vinegar, apple, or white Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 handfuls wild arugula about 4 ounces
  • 4 handfuls baby spinach about 4 ounces
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa I like the tri-color, see this post for how to cook quinoa
  • 4-6 ounces feta or ricotta salata cheese cut into small cubes or crumbled
  • 2 cups watermelon chunks
  • 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts my add
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped red onion my add
  •  

Instructions

  1. Whisk oil and vinegar together in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Add fresh washed greens and toss with hand to cover the greens evenly. Sprinkle on quinoa (1/4 cup per person), feta, watermelon and onion.

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