Arugula (Eruca sativa) is a leafy green from the Meditteranean region. It's part of the Brassica, or Cabbage, plant family and prefers cool temperatures. Visually, the leaves are bright green and deeply pinnated. It has a peppery taste and is often used raw in salads. Store arugula in a plastic bag in the fridge. Soak it in cold water to remove soil, rinse and spin or pat dry before using.

Try a simple arugula salad with lemon juice, olive oil and salt, or mix it with lettuces for a milder taste. Use on sandwiches and in omelets. If it's too spicy when raw for you, try baking it on pizza or sauteing lightly and tossing it with pasta.

Easy Fancy Beet, Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad
Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot or red onion
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3-4 medium roasted or boiled beets, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces soft goat cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces arugula
  • 2 ounces other salad greens
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together shallot or onion, vinegar, orange juice, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Place beets in a small bowl. Pour 1/3 of the dressing over beets; toss to coat.
  2. Place walnuts in a shallow dish. With your hands, form goat cheese into 12 equal balls. Roll balls in walnuts, turning to coat completely, then flatten into discs.
  3. Place arugula and salad greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with remaining dressing, and toss to combine. Divide among plates, and top each serving with some of the sliced beets and 3 goat-cheese discs.
Recipe based on:

Garlicky Lemon Pasta with Arugula
Serves 4 as main dish

1 lb. spaghetti or pasta, dry
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 teaspoon dried basil or 4 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup chopped arugula
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Accompaniments: freshly grated Parmigiano-reggiano, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, squeeze of lemon

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium-low heat. Stir in garlic, lemon peel, lemon juice, broth, basil, salt and pepper and raise heat to medium-high. Bring to a gentle simmer, reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.

Drain pasta, return it to its cooking pot and immediately pour the heated sauce over it, along with the arugula and parsley. Use tongs to gently toss the pasta and sauce together. Transfer pasta to heated serving bowl. Top with grated Parmigiano-reggiano, a light sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Recipe from:

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