All About Arugula

When this quarantine first began, for some reason I decided that I needed all of the arugula! I was literally buying it in bulk. Then I realized that arugula’s shelf life is pretty short, so I started experimenting with it in all kinds of dishes, and I am glad I did!

Today I am sharing some of my favorite dishes to make with arugula besides the ordinary garden salad. Arugula is a great green that is fresh and crisp, has an awesome peppery flavor, and is packed with powerful nutrients.

  1. Sautéed Arugula with Cherry Tomatoes
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I am literally making this *tonight* with our dinner!

Whenever greens are being sautéed, most people will use kale, spinach, broccoli rabe, etc. Honestly, I have never even thought about sautéing arugula until I saw Nick Stellino pairing sautéed arugula with steak. I did change the recipe a bit to add my own flair to it, and I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

  • 5 oz fresh arugula
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (If you don’t like heat, you don’t have to add the pepper flakes)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the minced garlic and red pepper flaked. Sauté the garlic and red pepper for a minute or two, being sure it doesn’t burn. Burnt garlic develops a very bitter taste.

Once slightly browned, add the arugula and fresh lemon juice. The arugula will reduce very quickly. Once wilted, add the cherry tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes on low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

That’s it! I like this dish because it’s a different way to use arugula. The lemon juice brightens the dish, the arugula is peppery, and the cherry tomatoes are like sugar bombs. It’s just so unique and I love making it. Plus, it doesn’t take long to make.

2. Fresh Arugula Over Homemade Pizza

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My family makes pizza often. I like making homemade pizza because it is so customizable, always fresh and hot out of the oven, and it is also an activity that we can all go together. One of my favorite toppings is fresh arugula drizzled with balsamic reduction.

Ingredients (For Dough)

  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c. olive oil

Directions

Sprinkle the yeast over 1 1/2 c. warm water and let sit. Combine the sugar, flour, and salt in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on low and add the olive oil slowly. Once combined, add the water and yeast mixture. The combined mixture will be sticky. Drizzle some additional olive oil in a separate bowl, and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel for 1-2 hours.

That’s it! When the pizza dough is ready, it will have expanded. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and roll the dough out. Add marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and any other toppings you’d like! My favorites are pepperoni, raw onion, and roasted peppers.

After the pizza finishes baking, I top it with fresh arugula and drizzle a balsamic reduction sauce over the top. Once again, I love the peppery bite of the arugula on my pizza. It just gives it a little extra something.

3. Fresh Caprese Salad Over a Bed of Arugula 

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I like to use different colored tomatoes because I think the various colors make the dish look beautiful.

This recipe doesn’t even require actual cooking. How great is that? I always loved fresh mozzarella cheese and heirloom tomatoes, but I think sometimes it can look kind of boring on a plate without some greenery and sometimes I run out of basil.

I tried using a bed of arugula under the caprese salad and it was amazing. It made the dish like an actual salad! As I keep mentioning, the peppery flavor of the arugula adds a great additional flavor to the dish. Plus, it just looks beautiful.

Ingredients

  • One ball of fresh wet mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes (I use a red and yellow)
  • 2.5 oz (half a container) of arugula
  • Olive oil (for drizzling)

Directions

Lay the arugula on a platter. Slice the mozzarella and tomatoes into thin slices. Lay a slice of tomato on the bed of arugula, and add a slice of mozzarella on top, still revealing a piece of tomato. Complete this until all the tomatoes and mozzarella slices are on the bed of arugula. Once complete, drizzle with olive oil and enjoy!

*Pro-Tip: Drizzle some balsamic reduction sauce over this dish, too!

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