Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad

This Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Arugula salad began as part of the Kitchen Cupboard Spring Cleaning Project, but never made it into print.  In my late-spring push to begin posting seasonal recipes (during harvest), then the bustling activities of summer, something had to give.

Beach Trip Distraction

Beach scenes

Beach Trip w/ beach poetry (she wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny, pink and purple string bikini…)

Fourth of July Parade Distraction

July 4th parade scenes

July 4th Parade–including beauty queens, animals, tossed candy and cheese–only in Wisconsin!

But this salad (and a couple more recipes that will come later) was such a keeper, I couldn’t let it slip by.  And so, as I slowed down cooking a bit for the 4th of July weekend, I decided the salad’s time had come.

The original recipe came from Shutterbean but I simplified it by making glazed nuts ahead of time(or you could buy them) and using prepared onion jam rather than caramelizing my own onions.

If you happen to have onion jam and sugared nuts on hand, the salad goes together in a snap with a gourmet taste that belies the ease of preparation.   Perfect for any busy holiday time!

Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad

Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad

Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad

Makes 4 salads



  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 1/2 T balsamic vinegar (I used part truffle balsamic which is seriously awesome)
  • 1/4 t prepared mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • 1/3 c onion jam (or 1-2 onions sliced and caramelized in butter with a splash of balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/2 c candied nuts
  • 3-4 oz goat cheese (a 3.5 oz crotin works perfectly)
  • Arugula


1.  Whisk  dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.  Toss arugula with dressing.  Divide between four plates.

Dress Salad

Dress Salad

2.  Warm onion jam (or caramelize onions) and distribute over salads.  Sprinkle candied nuts on top and dot with pinches of goat cheese.

Salad with candied nuts

Mmmm, candied nuts

3.  Serve immediately



4. Enjoy life some more…

Rain fun

When life gives you lemons, er, rain, make slip n slides

Isn’t summer great!

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29 thoughts on “Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad

  1. Claire

    Your first photo of the sand dunes grabbed me, something about sand dunes that I totally love! And of course I could polish your salad off in no time at all. Happy summer days – rain or shine!

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Clair. I hadn’t planned to do pictures on any of these excursions so my tiny “purse camera” came in handy when I couldn’t resist. We are just getting back to normal after nearly a week of brutal heat so summer will be getting enjoyable again. But the tomato plants loved the heat!

  2. Pingback: I love lists, Friday! – Shutterbean

  3. Kathy

    Summer is wonderful…and so are all your photos! It looks like you’re enjoying all the family time. I love arugula and it’s so good for you…one of the healthiest greens. I have arugula in my garden coming in right now, so we’ve been eating a lot of salads. Great looking salad…love the nuts. Such a great combo of ingredients.

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Kathy. I didn’t know that arugula was especially healthy–thanks for the tip. To think I was just eating it for the flavor!

  4. Louise

    I just don’t buy Arugula enough. I’m sure I would love this combination and I love the way you have simplified it, Inger.

    Looks, sounds, like you and yours are enjoying the season. Enjoy!

    1. Inger Post author

      We are having a lot of fun Louise–and eating a lot of greens with the CSAs hitting their stride. RIght now, I’d probably do this with CSA spring mix (though I am sooo an arugula lover).

  5. lena

    hi, thx for dropping by earlier on the picnic game. NIce to know you, Inger. Looks like you did have lots of fun for the past couple of weeks. The weather here has been so hot in my country these days, would love some rain ..and at the beach too!! that’s a fabulous looking salad!

    1. Inger Post author

      Hi Lena! We did have a lot of fun! Now the heat has hit even us and we will be working hard to stay cool–I am making iced tea right now! Hoping for rain for you…

  6. kelly

    I think what I’ve always enjoyed most about blogging is being able to enjoy the unique aspects of others’ lives. I am grinning over the fun in the pouring rain! We don’t have enough space to do that sort of thing any more, but remember doing the same thing. Lovely salad — the flavor combos are one of our faves on nights I don’t want to make dinner (minus the candied nuts which I’ll have to try). We love caramelized onions in salads!

    1. Inger Post author

      THanks Kelly;. You know I don’t usually put a lot of extra pictures in my posts–usually just right on topic–but I couldn’t resist this time. It was interesting to hear how many people have already been putting caramelized onions on salads–where have I been!!

  7. grace

    caramelized onions are GLORIOUS, and i love candied nuts too, though i rarely keep them around long enough to toss into a salad! this is a great combination of tastes and textures.

    1. Inger Post author

      We have the same problem with the candied nuts! Now if I recall, you aren’t a big goat cheese fan Grace but I’m sure many others would be good on this too.

  8. Camille

    Mmmm, goat cheese and caramelized onions are pretty much a match made in heaven. I actually made a similar salad last week, on a bed of lettuce with fava beans. Delicious!

  9. Karis

    What a great collection of summer photos! Just yesterday I was taking turns with two adults and two kids on a slip n’ slide 🙂

    I love candied nuts on salads but have never tried carmelized onions, which sounds wonderful.

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Karis. I just had a cheese with caramelized onions in it that was wonderful too…

  10. Kathy

    What a delicious looking salad! I never thought of caramelizing onions for a salad. Bet that will be yummy. May use something other than arugula, as we haven’t grown any this year. Your summer pics were fun to look at, too.

    1. Inger Post author

      I am always substituting ingredients in recipes Kathy. I figure no one came down a mountain with the ingredient list carved in a stone tablet 😉

  11. Beth

    I’ve recently made a similar salad, with onions rather than onion jam, but that sounds like a good variation. You can’t go wrong with arugula!

    1. Inger Post author

      I am a huge arugula lover too Beth. I can’t believe that until a few years ago I had never eaten it.

  12. CCU

    So much enjoying life 😀
    I love the Parade so beautiful!
    And love the gorgeous salad, what an exotic combination!


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