arugula : recipes, usage, enjoy!

Arugula has a very peppery, pungent smell. It’s got a hot bite taste to it. People often have strong opinions about this green – absolutely lovin’ it, or absolutely not!

Arugula can very well be eaten fresh and raw. It’s really good, especially, in my opinion, with a creamy dressing. Just a very nice combination. You can eat it straight. You can mix it with other leafy greens. Tear up some of those beautiful heads of lettuce and add arugula. Or add arugula to that gorgeous salad mix. It’ll add a nice kick, a bit of a pleasant surprise to the taste buds. Yum.

Arugula does mellow, the flavor does soften when very lightly steamed or sautéed. Often arugula will be served on a bed of plain, oiled, or buttered pasta.

 

arugula

arugula June 2013

arugula, kale, collard, swiss chard, spinach

Info below gathered from From Asparagus to Zucchini MACSAC. 2004.

fresh, raw “greens”

  • wash well in cool water bath to remove fine grit. (spin dry in your salad spinner. dry is good!)
  • try a salad mix of varied baby greens with no lettuce at all, or dilute down a pungent blend by tearing in extra lettuce.
  • many salad greens taste excellent lightly braised, sauteed, or stir-fried. Watch out! They cook very quickly.
  • Use salad greens to decorate a platter.
  • Toss green salad with dressing at the last minute to avoid sogginess.
  • toss salad with your choice of fresh herb leaves, such as basil, cilantro, dill or parsley.
  • pile your favorite salad greens into sandwiches, tacos, burritos, or omelets.
  • cook and add greens to quiches, lasagna, or other baked goods.

arugula - harvest 12 - 2012

cooked greens

  • be careful not to overcook. overcooked greens will be mushy, tasteless, and significantly reduced in nutrition.
  • greens will cook down approx. 1/4 to 1/8 original volume.
  • boil greens 2-4 minutes, or steam 5-8 minutes, depending on maturity and toughness of greens. watch for the color to brighten; this signals cooking is complete or nearly complete. colors will darken and fade in vibrancy when overcooked.
  • baby greens are excellent for sauteeing, larger, more mature greens for stir-frying – add them toward the end of the cooking time – anywhere from 2-5 minutes is usually adequate for both.
  • most greens are interchangable, though pungency does vary.
  • greens add color, texture and flavor to soups and stews.
  • serve cooked greens simply. Toss with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Or, toss with sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Or, toss with a lemon vinaigrette. Or, top with a pat of butter or totally plain!
  • mix greens into omelets, quiches, lasagna, and casseroles.
  • saute pre-cooked greens in garlic butter and onion.
  • baby greens make an excellent raw salad.

“Most garden greens love cool weather. They grow quickly and will be among the first vegetables of the season in spring and the final leafy ones in the fall.

Their vibrancy and freshness are a gift of flavor and health. Greens are packed with nutrition. Properly prepared, greens offer generous amounts of vitamins A and C, some B vitamins, and folic acid, as well as minerals such as calcium and iron. Greens are very high in dietary fiber and low in calories. In the health world, dark leafy greens also receive attention for their roles in disease prevention.”

arugula pesto

 

Arugula Pesto

Arugula Pesto Recipe from Simply Recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method

1 Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.

2 Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.

3aFood processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, salt, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

3bMortar and pestle method: Combine the nuts, salt and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add the cheese and olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the arugula and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.

Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.

Serve with pasta, over freshly roasted potatoes, or as a sauce for pizza.

Yield: Makes 1 heaping cup.

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