For years, actually decades, I’ve grown arugula, loved it in salads and sandwiches when it was young and zippy, then felt bad and yanked it when it inevitably and quickly got big and too hot for comfort. For some reason it never occurred to me to try cooking it.
|Arugula, by Celeste Henriquez, from Winter Harvest Cookbook|
But now I have, and of course a bit of checking online makes me realize that many have gotten there before me. It’s good stuff. Cooking takes away the extra bite, so it goes back to being a strongly flavored green with a pleasant note of sesame, somewhat similar to cooked nettles. Last night I pulled some arugulas that were crowding out the winter lettuce and braised them in a splash of water and olive oil. I roasted a head of cauliflower (in florets) with some Cajun spice mixture and garlic cloves; added some partially boiled potato slices (Yukon golds) to the roasting pan to get just a little crusty, and mixed the whole shebang together with a little grated Romano for a quick green, white, and yellow dinner that was the perfect transition from “long day at work” to “new songs to learn at chorus rehearsal.” There was just a bite left this morning, and it tasted fine cold, too.
I found a number of intriguing arugula recipes at Mariquita Farm’s website:
http://www.mariquita.com and next I figure to take their version of Arugula Vichyssoise and make it into a hot potato/leek/arugula soup. Mariquita (Spanish for ladybug) is in Watsonville, California, where vichyssoise in October makes perfect sense. Here the rain is pelting down and it’s dark before dinnertime, so I want something warmer.