With the first day of spring right around the corner, our culinary focus is starting to shift away from warming recipes to crisp and vegetable-forward dishes that make the most of the upcoming season’s bounty. For inspiration on options we can all add to our repertoire, The Scout Guide invited their editors across the country to ask culinary experts in their areas for their favorite spring salad recipes.


Arugula Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

“This spring salad is a beautiful celebration of Arkansas’s bountiful produce season. A tip to get the flavor of your salad to really pop is to get the freshest ingredients possible,” shares Kim Henderson of Heritage Catering in Little Rock, Arkansas, who suggests sourcing the honey, pecans, arugula, and strawberries at a local farmers market.

Yields 4 servings


For the honey vinaigrette:
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 cloves roasted garlic
2 tablespoons champagne or apple cider vinegar
12 ounces blended oil (85% canola, 15% olive)

For the candied pecans:
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 pound pecan halves
1 cup white sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the salad:
4 cups fresh baby arugula
1 ½ cups strawberries, sliced
4 ounces Manchego cheese, shaved
1 cup candied pecans (see above)


For the candied pecans:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Grease one baking sheet. In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and water until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add pecans to egg whites, and stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts, and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated. Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for one hour. Stir halfway through baking. Cool and store in a plastic or glass container until ready to use. Note: These can be made a few days in advance.

For the vinaigrette:
Place all ingredients except oil into a blender. Blend on medium for 10-15 seconds until all ingredients are combined. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Then, finish with salt and pepper. Store in a glass or plastic container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Note: This can be kept refrigerated for up to two weeks.

For the salad:
Toss arugula in honey vinaigrette and arrange on four plates. Place strawberries on top of arugula, then Manchego and pecans. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Kim Henderson of Heritage Catering. Heritage Catering is featured in The Scout Guide Little Rock. Valerie Shively is the editor of The Scout Guide Little Rock. 

Head here for two more recipes: Grilled Ricotta Salata with Mizuna Lettuce, and Thai Spring Salad!

You May Also Like…

SCOUTED| Old Town Stock House Potato GratinExecutive Chef/owner of Old Town Stock House, Crystal McKone, shares her Potato Gratin Recipe!EASY BRUNCH RECIPES FOR MOTHER’S DAY—AND BEYONDChef Adyre shares the secrets of the Grinder Sandwich that is taking TikTok by storm!SALAD RECIPES THAT ARE PERFECT FOR SPRINGEating Your Good Luck for the New Year