Toasted walnuts. Enough said — well, almost enough.

These aren't just any toasted walnuts. A drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves are added to the pan with the walnuts, and that combination, paired with the bite of arugula makes a fantastic simple, healthy salad.

Also, you could easily leave off the cheese for a vegan version, and add in sliced pears, peaches or other fruits to add some sweetness. There are so many ways to customize this thanks to the wonderful flavor of these thyme-toasted walnuts. Inspired by a recipe from Kelly Rossiter.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 salads

Arugula Salad with Thyme-Toasted Walnuts


  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly minced thyme or rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste
  • A dash salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 oz fresh sheep's milk cheese or goat cheese
Cooking Directions
  1. In a small skillet over a low heat, place the olive oil, walnuts and herbs. Leave to heat for several minutes allowing the flavors to infuse the oil. Make sure it isn't too hot or the walnuts will burn. When lightly toasted, remove the walnuts from the heat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Pour the walnuts over a bed of arugula, and add the cheese. Serve immediately before it wilts.

arugula salad

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Arugula Salad with Thyme-Toasted Walnuts
The flavor thyme-toasted walnuts allows you to make this salad with your choice of greens if arugula doesn't suit your fancy.