3 Easy Recipes for Arugula

 in Kitchen

Recently another urban gardening friends ask me what I did with all my arugula.
I eat it, I said.
But how? everyone always wants to know.

Arugula is everywhere you’ve seen it at the super and the farmers markets, almost everyone has probably eaten it at least in a salad mix. But how do you use it other than salad?

Of course like lettuce on a sandwich comes to mind, and then?
“It’s just so bitter,” is what I hear people say most.

I grow arugula and just like all greens it takes off fast giving me tons of material to work with.
I like it best mixed with other greens (especially kale) to help balance the flavor.

Some quick uses come to mind.
Pizza topping (after baking)
Sandwich or burrito filling
Mixed into cooked pasta
Mixed into rice and beans
A topping to any soup
With chickpea and sweet potatoes

Arugula nutrients

Before you ask, spinach is definitely healthier than arugula but all leafy greens are good for you. You should constantly be eating a mix of all sorts like, spinach, chard, arugula, kale, bok choy, mustard green, sorel, turnip, beet, etc.

Arugula is rich in Vitamin A, classically coined with helping good vision. There is also some calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and probably trace minerals too. Again, it is best to eat a wide balance of leafy greens. Nothing in arugula is bad for you, it’s mostly about balancing its flavor in a way people like.

We should all eat more greens.

I developed 3 arugula recipes to for when it’s discounted and you buy too much, or it comes in your csa share and you’ve never tried it. These recipes can also be made with any other abundant or unknown green you have on hand. You have no excuse to avoid your leafs.

In this salad I add the carrots to a hot pan but I don’t actually cook them. Raw veggies are higher i

n nutrients but cooked veggies are more bioavailable. Warming and not fulling cooking veggies so they still have a crunch to them is a good way to eat them.

Recipe 1

Quinoa Arugula Salad
1 cup red quinoa
½ cup chickpeas
¼ t Italian spice(optional)
1 clove garlic
1 carrot
3-4 big leaves of arugula
2 roma tomato
4-7 small mushrooms, quartered

Rinse the quinoa in a small mesh strainer to remove dirt and part of the starch.
Bring the quinoa to a boil with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt.
Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until soft.

Meanwhile, prepare the chickpeas by sauteing them in a pan with a splash of oil or water. You can add thyme, rosemary and ginger if you would like.
Crush in 1 clove of garlic.
Continue to saute until the chickpeas are well browned on most sides.
Add the chopped mushrooms and saute 1-2 minutes.
Add the raw carrots and turn off the heat.

Leave to get warm but not cold.

When the quinoa is ready turn off and allow to get warm but not cold.
When ready to serve mix the chickpeas and the quinoa together.
Add the tomato and arugula in raw.

Mix well and serve with a squeeze of lime.

Recipe 2

A trouble of mine in the garden is when the arugula goes bitter.
There is always a plant that grows too fast for me to eat it and gets too strong to eat.
This may happen to you too at the farmers market and you may not know what to do with the overly bitter green. A sweet fruity snack is the perfect solution.

Arugula Smoothie

1 chopped, frozen banana
4 chopped, frozen strawberries
2 big leaves of arugula
¼ t cinnamon
2 cups favorite plant milk

Blend all the ingredients until smooth
Enjoy immediately

Makes 2 big cupfuls.

Recipe 3

When it comes to the end of the season and you have a lot of mixes arugula, or even some that are too bitter. Pesto is a great option. Not only can you tame down the flavor of your wild greens but pesto can be frozen spreading out your healthy summer harvest into part of the winter months. This is an especially critical nutrition and flavor point for anyone living on a foraging diet or 100 mile diet in winter climates.

Arugula pesto is forever forgiving, especially if you have a lot of basil to use.
The best ratio is equal basil to arugula but if you have more arugula you can get away with it by adding a few more nuts, a squeeze of lime, or maybe even peas and spinach. I always leave garlic out of my arugula pests because the green already packs a bite.

Arugula Pesto
200 g arugula
200 g basil
150-200 g nuts of choice  
Olive oil (as needed)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 t nutritional yeast
A squeeze of lime (optional)

In a food processor pulse all the ingredients until chunky.
Stream in the oil while pulsing until desired texture is reached.
Taste for salt and adjust as needed.

Keep in the fridge for 1 week or the freezer for 3-4 months.

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