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Also known as rocket, rucola, or arugula, this peppery green has been cultivated in the Mediterranean for thousands of years. With high levels of potassium and vitamins A and C, arugula is a nutritional powerhouse. It makes more of a punch, flavor-wise, than most other leafy greens, which lends itself nicely to a variety of dishes. Click through to check out just some of the ways to use arugula, and see below for some basics on this tasty green.
The best arugula is uniformly dark green, with no yellowing or wilted leaves.
Odds are, you may notice a little dirt or grime on your arugula. That’s fine, though, because doesn’t say much about the quality of the product. If you’ve purchased loose leaves, cut off the stems and rinse the leaves in a bowl under cool running water. If your arugula is in a bunch, place it in a bowl of cool water for about 10-15 minutes. Drain leaves in a colander, and rinse. Please know that Organik's Arugula has already gone through HACCP process.
Wrap cleaned leaves in a paper towel and place in a plastic zipper storage bag. They should stay fresh for about a week; unwashed arugula only keeps for a few days.
All arugula is not created equal. Smaller, younger leaves have a milder flavor, whereas larger, older leaves pack more of a punch. Get to know the difference when choosing leaves for a recipe — you’ll likely find that you prefer one flavor over another. I, for instance, prefer the younger leaves in pesto and salads, but would pick older leaves for pizza or soup any day of the week.
1. Arugula & Pesto Crostini
Arugula and pesto are a great base for a fantastic crostini.
- 1 baguette
- 2-3 tbs. pesto
- About 2 cups fresh arugula
- Olive oil
- Fresh mozzarella, ricotta or blue cheese
- Tomato slices
- Sautéed mushrooms
- Green peas
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut baguette into about 1/2″ thick slices, and lightly brush with olive oil. Bake for about 8 minutes.
2. After slices have cooled, brush with pesto, top with arugula and any other desired toppings.
2. Broccoli Arugula Soup
You know when you’ve been out of town for a while and you can’t remember the last time you ate real, wholesome food? This soup is the perfect remedy for that. As good hot as it is cold, this GLUTEN-FREE and VEGAN soup is sure to delight and refresh.
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 head broccoli, cut in small florets
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup arugula
- Coarse salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme (optional)
- Lemon slices for serving
1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or so. Add broccoli and cook until it is bright green, about 4 minutes. Add water, salt and pepper, and thyme to taste. Bring to boil, then cover and lower heat. Cook until broccoli is tender, around 8 minutes.
2. Carefully** pour soup into blender and add arugula, blending until smooth. Serve with lemon slices.
** If the idea of blending a hot liquid in the blender makes you nervous, you can blend in batches of 2, 3 or 4, and set aside the blended soup in large saucepan over low heat. You can also, if you wish, let the soup cool for 5-10 minutes before blending and warm on the stovetop afterwards.
Other Great Ways to Use Arugula:
Eat It Raw:
Use about 9 oz (8 cups) arugula for each salad and add the other ingredients to taste. Dress lightly with olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper, or use your favorite bottled dressing.
Arugula, sliced radicchio, Parmesan cheese shavings, quartered artichoke hearts, pitted black olives
Arugula, sliced beefsteak tomatoes, fresh corn kernels, fresh basil
Arugula, sliced steak, cucumber, chopped scallions, crisp bacon
4. Sweet and Salty
Arugula, diced fresh apricot, crumbled feta cheese, toasted almonds
Arugula, crumbled Gorgonzola, toasted pecans, dried cranberries
Try It Cooked:
Puree 2 garlic cloves, 2 cups packed arugula, ½ cup olive oil, and ¼ cup toasted walnuts. Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve on grilled fish or chicken.
Sauté 1 diced onion in 2 Tbsp canola oil in a pot. Add 1½ cups rice, 2½ cups water, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer. Stir in ¼ cup golden raisins and ¼ cup slivered almonds. When rice is tender, stir in 2 cups packed arugula.
Layer slices of ripe peach, thin slices of Gruyère cheese, and a handful of arugula between 2 slices of whole wheat bread. Bake until cheese melts.
Combine ¾ lb cooked whole wheat spaghetti, 2 cups packed arugula, 1 cup halved grape tomatoes, ¼ cup chopped parsley, 3 Tbsp pine nuts, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Warm.
Top a whole wheat pizza crust with basil pesto, a handful of arugula, sautéed broccoli, and shredded mozzarella. Bake at 425°F until cheese melts.
Source from: parade.com and care2.com