How to Buy and Cook with Arugula
Arugula salad has a signature, somewhat strong “peppery” flavor. Many people find that this provides a natural cooling effect on the body, which is indicative of many foods harvested in spring — as arugula is.
Young arugula leaves are the kinds used in salads, usually mixed with other greens in a mesclun mix. You can find fresh young arugula leaves at almost all grocery stores and at farmer’s markets in the spring and summer months. Older arugula leaves are also edible and used around the world too, although they’re less available in the U.S. They have a slightly more bitter taste and are usually cooked.
Look for arugula greens that aren’t wilted or spotted in color. Since it tends to be a delicate vegetable, try consuming it within a few days of buying it. After buying arugula, keep the leaves dry and wrapped up inside a damp paper towel in the refrigerator.
Arugula tastes great either raw or cooked, so there are loads of ways to add some to recipes you already enjoy. The greens can even be finely chopped and used in place of other herbs like parsley or cilantro.
You can try adding wilted arugula to pastas, side dishes made with whole grains, sandwiches, wraps and soups. Arugula’s flavor goes well with goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, tomatoes, olive oil and garlic, which is why it’s sometimes blended into dips or spreads similar to pesto. If you have some favorite recipes that use watercress or spinach, you can substitute arugula for a similar peppery taste and texture.
Some uses for arugula around the world that might inspire you? In Italy, raw arugula is commonly added to pizzas or for making the pasta dish cavatiéddi, which calls for wilted arugula along with tomato sauce and pecorino cheese. It’s also used to infuse olive oil combined with garlic to make a heart-healthy condiment for cold meats and fish. In other parts of the world like Slovenia, it’s boiled with potatoes, used in soup or served with cheese.
Beet and Goat Cheese Salad Recipe
Try this recipe below for a simple salad using arugula, which is a great addition to any meal or a delicious and snack.
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 8 cups of arugula
- Raw goat cheese (or chevre)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1/8 cup coconut kefir
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Boil the beets until a fork can easily go in them.
- Mix together salad ingredients.
- Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a separate bowl and dress salad.