Okay so I know arugula is a spring and summer green, but I particularly love its versatility and the wonderful ways it can enhance a huge variety of fall dishes. Since your local grocer carries this amazing leafy green no matter the season, well usually, who’s to say arugula can’t be more of a year round vegetable or green like romaine is. In fact, arugula’s peppery flavor and sturdy structures makes it the perfect side compliment to just about any hearty fall meal. Having said that, there are so many other ways to use arugula in your cooking besides in a cold leafy salad. And of course, if you are talking about nutrients, arugula is up there with all the other superfoods and is a definite must have. In case you don’t already know, one large handful of raw arugula can satisfy 20% of your daily folate and is also an amazing source of vitamin A, C and K.
It is hard to believe that before the 1990’s, arugula was almost unheard of in the United States and now it can be seen on everything from sandwiches and pizzas to pasta dishes. Since its popularity is on a rise and its flavor will satisfy healthy conscious mouths, I say it is time to experiment with arugula in your meal planning. Whether you are coordinating dinner for your family or working with a caterer on an impressive corporate menu, the dishes below will surely impress!
Caramelized Onion and Arugula Focaccia Bread – Fresh made focaccia is best, but store bought is okay too. Start with a layer of fresh arugula, they caramelized onions, and finally top it with your favorite Italian cheese for an amazing appetizer!
Warm Beet and Orange Salad with Goat Cheese over Arugula – Roasted red and gold beets served warm are to die for in this flavorful arugula based salad! The heat from the beats punch up the citrus flavor and slight melts the goat cheese, so that all you need is a little EVOO and balsamic drizzle on top and you are done.
Mashed Potatoes and Arugula – Make your best Yukon Gold mashed potatoes being sure to add plenty of butter and then fold in a few handfuls of fresh arugula. This colorful dish has a lot of flavor and is the perfect accompaniment for hearty roasted fall meats!
Marinated Sirloin Topped with Sauteed Arugula – Sauteed arugula with lots of garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of lemon makes a tasty topping for balsamic marinated sirloin by adding a punch of peppery-leafy goodness right on top!
Arugula Pesto – Use your food processor, a handful walnuts, good olive oil and lots of garlic to make a bright green and versatile arugula pesto. Add this wonderful blend of natural superfoods to create a healthy and nutritious condiment that can be used in anything and everything!
Sauteed Shrimp with Arugula and Tomatoes – Talk about a quick and easy meal that goes great with anything! Use just a little olive oil, white wine, and salt and pepper while cooking and serve with flavorful jasmine rice or whole grain pasta for a bright and colorful low fat dish!
Ricotta and Arugula Quiche – I love quiche and this lighter variation works great for anytime of the day! Mix all the ingredients together to create a uniformed blend of creamy deliciousness. For breakfast you can accompany this with a fruit salad and breakfast sausage and for dinner try serving it with roasted potatoes and a thick slice of ham!