8.07.2008

Seeking good arugula recipes!

Does anyone have suggestions for how to consume pound upon pound of arugula? Earlier this season, I wrote about the two arugula plants that survived the Kansas winter. Not only did they survive, they have decided, in this wet and productive year, to go absolutely insane. Behold the insanity:

I've had hearty arugula before, but this is so much more than anything I've ever seen. I've harvested literally pounds of arugula, giving it to anyone who will take it, and have even taken to using it as thick garnish beds, e.g.- plates of deviled eggs and have even mulched other plants with it on the theory that no sensible bug go nears the stuff.

Unlike what you might expect from something that wintered over and is growing in the intense Kansas summer heat, the leaves are delicious and not at all bitter. The plants have gotten a few hair cuts, where a pair of kitchen shears literally shape it like a topiary, partly to get them off their neighbors, and partly to cut of bolting shoots.

So, please share your favorite arugula use with me!

5 comments:

Laura said...

I'm so jealous! We moved this year and didn't get a chance to put in a garden. I miss the fresh arugula we had last year! Arugula is great on homemade pizza (after it comes out of the oven). But my favorite use is with a grilled potato and pepper salad. Boil new potatoes, put them on the grill and add a sherry vinegar, olive oil and dijon mustard vinagrette. I have yet to find a good recipe which involves cooked arugula so it will be interesting to see if anyone has one of those.

Emily said...

A favorite sandwich in our house: finely chopped white radishes mixed in with cream cheese, topped with fresh arugula and a dash of ground white pepper. A couple of slices of nice whole wheat bread and... YUM.

Joshua McNichols said...

I take a slice of cooked frozen pizza and roll it up in a tube around the fattest fistfull of fresh, uncooked arugula I can gather. I like to think I can eat the highest fresh-arugula-to-frozen-pizza ratio in my family. Of course, no one else is participating. Sometimes when I'm eating it I recall the image from Guiness Book of World Records of that guy who stuffs a hundred cigarettes in his mouth and smokes them all at once. It's lots of fun, and adds a daredevil edge to a food otherwise considered snobby enough to nearly derail a presidential election bid.

I also like to fry up some bacon, then chop it up leaving some of the grease in the pan, then flash fry the arugula. Then make a hole in the middle of the pan, drop in a raw egg. After it cooks a bit, stir it into the barely cooked leaves and grease. It's comfort food. Also works with Kale. Bacony-egg-bound yumminess!

I never understood why arugula has such a snobby reputation. To me, it's like hot sauce, there's a manliness to it. Especially as it gets bitter during the late summer.

Emily said...

I like the other Emily's suggestion, but here's mine: soups. It holds up well in broth, and it becomes easier to use up a lot of arugula, fast.

Wish I lived next door! :)

DaleA said...

Thanks, everyone, for the great suggestions. I'm going to have to take on Joshua in the pizza/arugula ration contest, since that's just so up my alley.

Someone here in town told me to make walnut arugula pesto. We did that today--my, it's fun to feed huge fistfuls of that demon weed into the Cuisinart--and I have to say it's utterly delicious. Somehow the the peppery edge is cut by the oil, cheese, and walnuts, and it's quite mild and lovely. By my reckoning, I have enough arugula to make about 40 pounds of pesto, and since my wife bought something like 20 pounds of organic walnuts a while back (when she goes big, she goes big), I may just go into business.