Simple, Healthy, Delicious: Arugula
Arugula is commonly found in Italian dishes, such as salads, pizzas, soups and pasta, as it lends a burst of fresh flavor, but it’s equally as good as a garnish for a basic turkey sandwich. It’s very low in calories and, as with most greens, is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, calcium, and magnesium. Following are a few recipes for this leafy green.
Wild Arugula Salad with Strawberries & a Citrus Sherry Vinaigrette
Blue cheese goes well with this salad as the saltiness of the cheese pairs well with the pungent arugula. The fruit, especially strawberries, adds a nice mellow flavor to the mix. You can also use apples or pears, just slice them in very thin pieces (use a mandolin if available) and then julienne the slices. Serves 8.
- 1 TBL shallot, finely diced
- 1 TBL lemon juice
- 2 TBL orange juice
- ½ TbL Sherry Wine Vinegar
- 4 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil (we recommend Proprietary Reserve, a local blend of Ascalano, Mission and Manzanillo)
- 1 ½ TBL dried currants
- Salt & Pepper
- 8-10 strawberries, stemmed and halved or quartered
- 12 cups Regular or Wild Arugula, cleaned and well dried*
- Blue cheese crumbles, for garnish (we recommend Sigona’s crumbled blue for $9.99/lb.)
Directions: Combine shallot, lemon juice, orange juice and sherry in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil to emulsify the mix. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Add currants and let set for 10-20 minutes at room temperature.
In a separate large salad bowl, add arugula and strawberries and toss with some of the vinaigrette. Add vinaigrette to desired coating and serve with crumble blue cheese.
*Cooks Note: Be sure to have your wild arugula dry for best coating. When adding vinaigrette put in a little at a time so as to not overdo the vinaigrette.
Remaining vinaigrette will last fine for a week or so in the refrigerator.
Arugula, with its peppery flavor, creates a delicious pesto that is just as versatile as a basil-based pesto. The bright green color lends an eye-pleasing (and delicious) twist to bruschetta, paninis, steamed vegetables, grilled shrimp, pasta dishes and it’s also is fantastic stirred into a base sauce for a white pizza. Store left over pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator to help keep it from browning.
- 4 cups of arugula leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- Zest from half a lemon
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ¾ cup Parmigianino Romano cheese
- ½ cup Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt, to taste
Directions: This one is simple…get ready. In a food processor, blend the arugula, garlic, lemon zest, pine nuts and cheese into a smooth paste. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and process until smooth. Add salt if desired.
Lemon Pasta with Wilted Arugula
Many chefs use arugula in everything from salads to pasta dishes and pizzas. Yes, pasta and pizza! This dish is simple, yet the layers of powerful flavors make it seem more complex.
- 1 lb. pasta (fettuccine or spaghetti is great, but any cut will do)
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Zest from 1 medium lemon
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 6 handfuls arugula (wild or regular
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt & pepper, to taste
Directions: Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to let it brown or burn. Lower the heat and add the pepper flakes (optional). Add the drained pasta, lemon zest and arugula to the sauté pan and stir to mix. Add the cheese and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with extra grated cheese for sprinkling and extra olive oil for drizzling.
Tomato, Mushroom and Arugula Pizza Drizzled with Balsamic
Adding arugula to a freshly baked pizza adds a fresh flavor and is an easy way to eat your greens.
- 1 pizza crust, about a 12 inch diameter (any type is fine. You can use pre-made, homemade, Vicolo corn meal crust or store bought dough)
- 3 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Olive Oil
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3+ tomatoes, sliced (Plum or Roma tomatoes are great. Heirlooms are the best when they’re in season)
- Couple pinches red pepper flakes
- 3 cups arugula, regular or wild*
- ½ c cheese, shredded or crumbled (mozzarella, feta or goat cheese would be great)
- Sliced mushrooms, any variety (about a ½ lb. will do)
- Sigona’s balsamic (for drizzling)
Directions: Saute garlic and a pinch or more of red pepper flakes in olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes (don’t burn the garlic). Remove from heat and brush the infused oil over the pizza crust.
Layer on the tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese. Bake pizza according to the dough/crust directions. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle on the arugula. The heat from the pizza will cause the arugula to wilt a bit, which is what you want it to do. Drizzle the pizza with a little balsamic, slice and serve.
*If you rinse the arugula, make sure to remove as much moisture as possible.