sardine + arugula salad

On December 24, Italians from all over celebrate Christmas Eve with The Feast of 7 Fishes (or sometimes called The Vigil). Typically the meal consists of 7 different seafood dishes. I had this in mind when putting together the salad below. It is a festive and healthy dish that could be served during Christmas or year round. 



  • 2 bunches of baby arugula
  • About 15 sliced cherry tomatoes 
  • About 20 bite sized mozzarella balls*
  • 1/4 cup basil, torn into small pieces
  • One 4.4 oz can of olive oil packed sardines (the smallest ones you can find)**

*If you do not consume dairy or just don't like mozzarella, cannellini beans can be substituted or even just added to this dish to boost protein and fiber.

**Sardines are loaded with vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. They're a good protein source as well. Here is a fabulous link that lays out all of the fish's benefits. 


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Combine dressing ingredients and shake in a sealed container to emulsify
  • Toss dressing with the greens
  • Lay tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and sardines on top of the arugula
  • Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top
  • Optional: drizzle some of the olive oil from the sardine can over the salad for extra flavor