Thursday, June 16, 2016

Harvesting Arugula!

      Arugula found a place in our garden this year!  It's been a learning curve, as we have never grown it before.  I learned that it thrives best in cooler weather.  We planted our arugula in the early spring...and now we are harvesting just as the hotter weather is beginning.  We can pull up the plant at the end of harvest time, and replace that place in the garden with a hot weather green like kale or chard.  We also have the option of planting arugula again in the early fall...and enjoying another harvest before winter sets in.  I really don't want to think about that right now :)
      Arugula is a leafy green herb in the mustard family.  It is called "rocket" in other countries.  Arugula leaves resemble the leaves of an oak...which you'll notice in my first picture below. 
This snappy herb has a peppery flavor...almost bitter...in a good way :)  It becomes more bitter as the leaves grow larger.  As arugula matures, flowers appear at the tops of the skinny stalks.  These flowers are edible :)
      Arugula is nutrient dense...low in calories and high in nutrients!  It is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, calcium and magnesium.  Enjoy this green raw or cooked.  It works best added to salads with other (sweeter) greens...or added to pizza, pasta, casseroles, sandwiches or soup! 
Arugula can be used in place of basil in your favorite pesto recipe.  If you grow your own arugula...refrigerate unwashed greens in a bag...and use within one to two days of harvesting.
 
Have a look at my fresh arugula...and the tasty salad we enjoyed with supper!
 
 
 
 
So Simple Salad!
I combined arugula with romaine and purple leaf lettuce.
Then I added toasted sunflower seeds, feta cheese and dried cranberries & plums.
A bit of red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper finished it off :)
 
 
Credits:  www.wisegeek.org
               www.kitchn.com
               1,000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles