This salad is probably the last one you’re going to make with those amazing tomatoes, so jump to it and send your tomatoes off with respect. If you have issues with the fact that I use butter in this salad dressing, I offer you this two word defense (brown butter) and this defense: you’ll have finished eating the salad before it even thinks about solidifying.
Servings: 2 as a main, 4 as a side
Time: 15 minutes
1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP of unsalted butter
1 cup of hazelnuts, crushed
1 tsp each of salt and pepper
1 tsp of red pepper, divided in half
5 cups of arugula
2 cups of grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup of salted pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds)
8 oz. of goat cheese
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 TBSP of honey
1 TBSP of white vinegar
Melt 1 TBSP of butter in a small saucepan, then add the hazelnuts, which by the way, you should have already pulverized using a rolling pin and plastic bag. Or purchased crushed. Whatever, sissy.
Toast hazelnuts while stirring, three minutes. If you start to, like, really smell hazelnuts, it isn’t your perfume, hon, it’s the nuts burning.
Season the nuts with salt, pepper, and half red pepper and dump them on a plate to cool. Don’t wash the pan — it’s not worth it because you’re about to use it for the next step.
In the same saucepan that you didn’t just bother washing (congrats!), melt the rest of the butter. When it’s all melty, stir it around with a whisk over a medium heat. Then stop. The butter’s going to get a little bit brown. This is good. You might have to whisk and then pause a few times before this happens, then once the color starts to change, you can move on.
Welcome to the next step! Add the thyme and rest of red pepper to the butter, then stir. Let bubble and brown. Your kitchen smells awesome right now.
Get ready for some action. Add the honey and vinegar. Things are going to sputter for a second, but once you stir it all together, it should calm down. Turn off the heat, and set the pan aside.
In a large bowl, mix the arugula, tomatoes, pepitas, and goat cheese. Add the hazelnuts in, then stir.
Grab the thyme out of the pan, then pour all that buttery dressing over the salad. Mix, then serve warm.