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Fierce Foodie: Is It Time For Arugula Yet?!?!


a blogumn by Roya Hamadani

I don’t care what the groundhog saw, the impassable walls of ice and snow are melting here in Pittsburgh and I am eating arugula. And that means it’s spring. Arugula, or wild rocket, looks like marigold weed and has a rich, peppery flavor that lends texture and interest to salads. It can also be served sautéed with onions or stewed with fava beans; the list of recipes is as endless as its history of cultivation. Like most leafy greens, it’s good for you, chock full of vitamin C and potassium.  Apparently the Romans regarded it as an aphrodisiac, so you’ve been officially warned.  I like it best mixed with romaine or another mild lettuce and combined with creamy goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.  Add in some toasted pine nuts or pecans and you’re eating like the crocuses are already in bloom. Recipe after the jump:

Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad

Arugula (one bag prewashed)

One romaine heart chopped

Goat cheese –at least 2 -3 oz per person

Toasted pecans or pine nuts – at least ¼ cup per serving (see recipes below)

Dried cranberries – at least ¼ cup per serving

Balsamic vinaigrette

Grilled chicken (optional)

Mix the arugula and romaine and divide evenly among plates.  Top with goat cheese, toasted nuts and dried cranberries.  Serve with balsamic vinaigrette.

Toasted pecans

Mix raw pecans with melted salted butter (1/2 tbsp butter per cup of raw pecans).  Spread on nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool completely before using.

Toasted pine nuts

Shake raw pine nuts often to prevent burning in dry skillet over medium low heat.  The nuts are done when fragrant and brown.  Cool completely before using.