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Arugula Stuffed Fried Vidalia Onion Ring Salad With Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 pound rib eye steak
  • 2 tablespoons chopped assorted fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, tarragon, basil, and cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups rice flour
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups cold seltzer water
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
  • 10 ounces arugula, cleaned and stems removed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Essence
  • 2 large Vidalia onions, or other sweet onions such as Oso Sweet, Walla Walla, or Maui, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rings
  • 6 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan, as garnish
  • 1 pound large, round tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  • Preheat a grill.
  • Season the rib eye with Essence, salt, and pepper. Place the rib eye on the grill and cook until done. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thin slices.
  • Combine the herbs, shallots, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk to blend. Slowly add the olive oils in a steady stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens.
  • Combine the rice flour, seltzer water, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper in a medium bowl, and whisk to form a smooth paste. Combine the flour and Essence in a shallow bowl. Toss the largest, outer onion rings in the seasoned flour, and dredge in the batter, shaking to remove any excess. (Save the remaining, smaller onion rings for another use.)
  • Heat the oil in a large, deep pot or electric fryer 350 degrees F. Carefully add the onion rings to the hot oil, and cook, turning occasionally to prevent the pieces from sticking together, until golden on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place the arugula in a large bowl, and toss with the vinaigrette and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Set aside. Place a tomato slice and 1 fried onion ring in the center of each salad plate and stuff with the dressed arugula and steak. Garnish with the Parmesan and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and serve.