Arugula Salad with Marcona Almonds, Red Grapes & Pumpkin Vinaigrette


Most Thanksgiving side dishes involve copious amounts of heavy cream and butter. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but your palate and your pants will take solace in a lighter, fresher option among all the buttered and creamed ones. This arugula salad brings bright, tangy flavors from the apple cider vinegar and the pumpkin purée, while the salty Marcona almonds balance the sweeter grapes. And don’t stress about adding another recipe to your full cooking schedule-you can assemble this salad the day before, and just dress it at the last-minute.


  • 1/2 pound seedless red or purple grapes
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound arugula (about 8 cups)
  • 3/4 cup salted, roasted Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped


In a large, shallow bowl arrange the arugula. Halve the grapes and scatter them over the arugula. Scatter the chopped Marcona almonds over the grapes, and drizzle with the pumpkin vinaigrette (recipe below). Toss to combine, and top with a few shaves of Manchego cheese if you like before serving.


In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, pumpkin purée, honey, and salt and pepper. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking to combine. Season to taste, adding more vinegar to make it more tangy, more pumpkin to thicken it, and more oil to tone down any overly tangy flavors, if needed.


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