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Only have 10 minutes to whip up a meal? Make Ina Garten’s arugula salad. One of her many Barefoot Contessa salad recipes, it’s simple even by the celebrity chef’s standards. Using only eight ingredients — yes, eight — Garten makes an Italian-inspired salad fit for any occasion. 

Ina Garten’s Arugula, Radicchio, and Parmesan Salad starts with greens

Ina Garten smiles and raises her hands wearing a black top and scarf
Ina Garten | Brad Barket/Getty Images for The New Yorker

No surprise here. Garten’s arugula salad, officially known as Arugula, Radicchio, and Parmesan Salad, begins with … arugula. 

Per Food Network’s instructions on how to make Garten’s arugula salad, the Modern Comfort Food author starts by putting washed and dried arugula in a bowl. 

As she explained on Barefoot Contessa, she likes to toss in a few other vegetables with the arugula, including endive and radicchio to “give it color.” Garten rinses and slices the endive and radicchio in thin strips before tossing them in with the arugula.

What she’s left with is “a really great salad.”And, while it certainly is a simple salad, it’s still special enough to serve at a party. She celebrated the birthday of her longtime husband, Jeffrey Garten, by serving him the arugula salad along with other Italian-inspired dishes.

The Barefoot Contessa dresses the arugula salad with her favorite vinaigrette

Next is the dressing. In this case, Garten doesn’t go the store-bought is fine route. Instead, she whips up a quick vinaigrette, something she thinks everyone should know how to do

Her pick? Her “favorite vinaigrette” that’s packed with fresh lemon juice. In fact, Garten loves it so much it’s a staple in her kitchen. “I always have this in the fridge in a glass and it’s just delicious,” she said. 

Want to make Garten’s favorite vinaigrette the Barefoot Contessa way? Use fresh lemons that have been sitting on the kitchen counter. 

Why? Because, according to Garten, lemons are generally better and juicier at room temperature. Hence why they’re one of the four items Garten doesn’t put in the fridge

So how does Garten make the vinaigrette for her arugula salad? She combines lemon juice, her beloved “good” olive oil from the brand Olio Santo in a bowl with salt and pepper. Then she whisks everything together and the vinaigrette’s done. 

Next, she drizzles the greens with the vinaigrette. “Pour just enough to moisten everything,” she said before tossing the salad together with a big spoon.

Garten adds shavings of cheese to the top

Ina Garten smiles as she poses for photographers wearing a brown button-down shirt
Ina Garten | Amber De Vos/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

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Finally, for Garten’s arugula salad toppings. She keeps it simple with Parmesan cheese to keep with the Italian theme. 

“Now to make it really Italian it has to have Parmesan cheese on it,” she said. “I’m just going to do big shavings of Parmesan cheese on it.” Using one of her must-have kitchen gadgets, a vegetable peeler, Garten makes “big, long shavings” of Parmesan cheese. 

Once again she tosses everything together and the arugula salad is done. The salad’s simplicity is exactly why the Food Network star loves Italian cooking.

“Julia Child used to say Italian cooking wasn’t really cooking. The truth is that’s exactly what I love about it,” Garten said. “It’s really simple. It’s earthy food.”