arugula salad in a white bowl with shaved Pecorino Romano on top
arugula salad in a white bowl with shaved Pecorino Romano on top

Super Quick Arugula Salad with Lemon and Romano

A super quick salad needs little more than lemon juice and olive oil, especially when topped with Pecorino or Parmesan cheese.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes
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Recipe Rundown

Arugula in a white bowl with shaved pecorino romano cheese on top next to a blue fork

This could be the simplest salad I ever share, which could be a problem because you might find yourself only making this salad. Time will tell.

Arugula salad with lemon dressing, coming boldly on through.

This zippy and peppery arugula salad is reminding me of three things: the essential lemon garlic sauce (another lemon-loves-olive oil situation), the kale salad (another cold palate cleansing lunch), and a standard house salad. Like the kind of salad you’d get at a fancy restaurant that’s totally understated, and yet, boldly sets the stage for the main event. I mean, I’ve never actually had this exact salad at a restaurant, but it’s the sort of raw and bitter menu item that goes with practically anything.

Here’s what’s happening in this arugula salad:

  • straight fresh arugula (depending on your mood, you could try mixing in some baby kale)
  • a drenching of lemon juice and olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, or both
arugula salad greens in a white serving bowl with shaved Romano cheese on top

I have been making this as a single-serve deal because, while it sort of holds up for 24 hours, I prefer the lively, slight wilt of the greens about 10-minutes post lemon juice and salt.

Here’s what I do: I take a whole lemon and squeeze it directly over the greens, using my fingers to catch the seeds (use a strainer if you prefer). Then, when it’s time to serve, I add the olive oil and toss everything around really well. I prefer to use clean hands, but you can use tongs, too. Once everything is coated, I season with salt and pepper. Last but not least, I shave the cheese over each individual serving.

I cannot understate my love for a bitter green salad situation.

Recommendations for Serving:

Outdoor seating with a toasted garlic baguette, anyone? Or a tomato bisque with prawns and salad dinner? OMG. Also, a tall glass of iced tea or if you’re really feeling it, red wine. And while we’re on the topic of red wine, maybe an inappropriately drippy red wine-poached pear for dessert.

Are you feeling this? I am so feeling this. Sending all the refreshing arugula vibes through the screen.

arugula salad in a bowl with Romano cheese on top

Arugula Salad with Lemon and Pecorino

A super quick salad needs little more than lemon juice and olive oil, especially when topped with Pecorino or Parmesan cheese.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: arugula, salad
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Chef Sara Furcini


  • 4-6 cups baby arugula 1 bag/2 large handfuls
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ounce Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • Place the arugula greens in a large serving bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon directly over the greens (I just strain the seeds with my hands). Add the olive oil and sea salt and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust by adding extra lemon or salt, as needed.
  • To serve, place a pile of the greens on a plate and top with shaved Pecorino cheese (I like to shave the cheese with a peeler). Season with freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy fresh or refrigerate and enjoy within 24 hours (note: the greens will begin to break down and wilt the longer they sit in the dressing with the salt).


Serving: 1cup

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3 years ago

This salad was so easy to make and only calls for the most basic of salad ingredients. The flavor just calls out to me and I can’t get enough of it when I am eating it. I would have never known that so few ingredients could make such a delicious salad.
I am 100% addicted to it.

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