Archive for the ‘Arugula’ Category

Phil Grosser’s Japanese-style Dressing for Arugula Salad

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Phil uses this dressing to mellow out arugula when it starts getting too spicy this time of year, but it works well with any kind of mixed salad greens.

* Rice wine vinegar (unflavored), about 1/3 cup or however much dressing you want to end up with
* Dash of soy sauce
* Sugar or honey to taste
* Grated ginger
* Heaping spoonful of miso (maybe the Miso Master Organic
Mellow White they have at Essene)
* Sesame oil

Mash the miso into the rice vinegar mixture. Dressing should be thick enough to cling to the greens but still pour easily and not be too thick. Add sesame oil. Arrange greens on plate, pour on dressing, and (optional) garnish with thin salad turnip or radish slices (sliced thin on a mandolin if you dare). Serve.



Anne Harvey’s “Potluck Pesto”

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Last evening in the garden, Ted was trying to give away a huge bunch of assorted fresh herbs, and he and Anne and I got to exchanging recipes. Anne mentioned her “Potluck Pesto” which she said turned out to be amazingly tasty. It will keep indefininly if you freeze tablespoons of it on a cookie sheet and store in zip-lock in the freezer. Here’s what to do:

Survey your garden for any herbs you might consider “pesto worthy”. Anne specifically mentioned arugula, mint, celantro, basil, tarragon, dill, marjoram, perhaps a tiny bit of lavender — use your imagination, there are no rules here. Pick everything in the proportions that will taste good to you, and when you get home get rid of stems and other “grassy” non-flavorful parts.

Here’s a basic pesto recipe to get started:

    1 cup assorted pesto herbs
    4 heaping tablespoons of parmesan or romano cheese, chunked or grated
    A few fresh garlic cloves (optional)
    Enough extra-virgin olive oil so that your blender can do it’s thing (start with 4 or 5 tablespoons)
    Handful of walnuts
    Salt to taste

Wash and spin dry the herbs. Put herbs in a blender along with the parmesan/romano and olive oil and blend till you get a lumpy paste. It may take a bit of coaxing to get the blending process to initiate. Add a handful of walnuts and blend till not-quite smooth. Transfer to serving dish and add salt to taste. Adding a squeeze of lemon is also another possibility.

I made it last night and Anne is right, it is delicious.

What to do with Arugula, Part II

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Arugula is a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins and minerals and esoteric organic compounds with long scientific names to cure whatever ails you. One square foot of garden real-estate will grow more than enough for one person. Only problem is that when the weather gets hot, so does the arugula.

So when your arugula is too hot for the salad bowl, tame it in this great tasting wilted salad with garbanzos and an oriental-flavored vinaigrette from Mark Bittman.

1 cup dry garbanzos
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 heaping Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
4 cups arugula leaves from the garden

1 smallish red onion or sweet Vidalia or Walla Walla onion, halved and sliced thinly

4 hard-cooked eggs, quartered (optional)

Soak garbanzos overnight, rinse well, and simmer slowly in ample salted water till soft but not falling apart.

Heat the olive oil gently in a deep skillet and when hot, add the ginger, cumin and garlic, stirring constantly until fragrant. Add garbanzos, salt & pepper and simmer gently until beans are hot and have absorbed some of the oil, about 3 min.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, and 1 teaspoon honey. Mash a few garbanzos to thicken and texturize the dressing. Add the arugula and onions and toss till arugula is wilted. Taste and adjust for salt and vinegar.

Serve warm. Garnish with hard boiled eggs to make a light meal.

NOTE: Avoid wimpy pre-packaged “baby arugula” from the store, it doesn’t have the oomph to make this salad sing.

What to do with Arugula? Ideas from Mark Bittman…

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Until last night, I could never figure out how to use arugula beyond tossing a few leaves into a green salad. I considered pulling most of mine to make room for more conventional greens but just in time I came across these fantastic recipes from Mark Bittman, aka “The Minimalist.” Both use lightly wilted arugula, both are intense and richly flavored, and both are eminently worth making. In addition, they are quick and easy and can be put together in less than 15 minutes.

Last night I made Pasta with Anchovies & Arugula and it blew my socks off. I am thinking about making it again tonight, it was that good: Pasta with Anchovies & Arugula.

If you like shrimp and like spicy and intense, this recipe is definitely for you: Spicy Shrimp Salad with Arugula & Mint.

So my newly-valued arugula is safe for now and I look forward to it starring in some interesting meals this summer.

– Barbara

Yet Another Healthy Kale Lunch…

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Prepare a pot of healthy grains like millet, quinoa or kasha:

For millet, use 1 part millet to 2 1/2 parts stock or water. Toast millet in dry pan until it turns golden, add stock or water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes then remove from heat and let steam for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

For quinoa, rinse well under cold running water, drain, then add to boiling stock or water. Use 1 part quinoa & 2 parts liquid. Cover and cook till liquid is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes.

For kasha, stir 1 cup kasha with one egg which has been beaten lightly in a bowl until well mixed. Transfer to a dry skillet and place over medium heat. Stir the kasha with a fork till it is dry and the grains separate, about 3 minutes. Mix with 2 cups broth, cover and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, stir, then let steam for 10 minutes.

Toast some healthy nuts or seeds of choice in a dry skillet, then set aside.

Tear the kale or other healthy greens into bite-sized pieces and blanch in lightly salted water. Drain.

Toss the grain with a healthy nut oil like hazelnut or walnut or with olive oil. Adjust salt, toss with drained blanched greens, and top with toasted seeds or nuts and some shaved hard cheese if you like.

Good warm or at room temperature. The nuts and nut oil as well as the unprocessed grain make this a satisfying, filling and, might we add, healthy lunch.

NOTE: Arugula is very tasty with healthy grains, but don’t blanch first. Cook the grain (millet works especially well) till all the water or broth is absorbed, turn off the heat and stir in the arugula, cover and let steam for 10 minutes. I use 4 cups arugula to 1 uncooked cup of millet. Fluff with fork and add a bit of olive or other flavorful oil if you like, and possibly top with toasted pepitas or sunflower seeds. It’s really good, and the arugula brightens up the millet in a wonderful way.

Mashed Potatoes & Greens

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

This recipe, adapted from Mark Bittman (NYTimes), is so good and so easy that it demands a place in our cookbook.

You will need equal parts of blanched greens (dandelion works especially well as does arugula) and potatoes boiled in their jackets.

Blanch the greens (don’t blanch arugula if using), drain, and cut into bite-sized chunks. Boil the potatoes till soft, peel or not as you prefer, then pour a goodly amount of olive oil over them and mash roughly. Adjust the potatoes for salt and mix in the greens.

This dish works well with almost any kind of greens — kale, collard, chard, dandelion — just adjust your blanching times to make sure different types of greens get cooked their proper amounts. If you are using arugula, don’t blanch, just stir into the hot potatoes to let it wilt a bit.

Mark Bittman’s original recipe, which comes from Liguria on the north-west coast of Italy, uses dandelion greens which lend a slightly bitter flavor to the dish, along with lots of good olive oil. At the end, he finishes by topping with breadcrumbs and toasting under the broiler for a minute or so to add a bit of crunchy texture.

However, toppings are optional, broiler step is optional, toasted seeds or nuts sprinkled on at the end are optional. The real key to this dish is flavorful potatoes (yukon golds, red bliss, something heirloom from your garden) mixed with garden-fresh greens blanched just to tenderness, and a fine olive oil. And just a touch of sea salt.