OK, so it’s been, like, years. You can’t really find wild arugula in cellophane bags at the Trader Joe’s. Even if you did, it wouldn’t have the bitter bite of the freshly picked leaves, long and slender:
Fancy my Spanish glass plate from Crate and Barrel? I fell in love with them a few weeks ago, and bought 10, just in case I have a dinner party someday. I digress…
I tossed this lovely plate of rughetta into a bowl with some chopped tomato, steaming hot spaghetti, garlic-infused olive oil and a few crumbles of goat cheese. The perfect meal emerged, imho. Have a look:
I adore slightly wilted arugula in a pasta dish, a risotto or on a just-baked pizza. I love arugula whirred into a peppery pesto, or sliced thinly with sweetened summer tomatoes in a salad with a kick.
The ancient Romans apparently considered arugula to be an aphrodisiac. While I did not feel its effects immediately, I did get to wondering about its health benefits. Turns out it packs quite a punch. Though I don’t typically quote agribusiness, I found the following excerpt from Dole’s website most interesting:
Nutrient-rich and low in calories – just 20 calories in about three cups (85g) – arugula provides an excellent source of folate, vitamins A and C, and over 100% of your daily vitamin K needs.This same serving supplies a good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese.The fact that this leafy green, unlike spinach, is lower in oxalates (which as discussed in previous DNNs can inhibit mineral absorption) gives a “green” light to arugula’s calcium availability.Researchers now believe that the nutrients needed for bone building go beyond calcium.
Arugula also has significant quantities of the phytonutrients beta-carotene (promotes healthy eyes, skin and immune function), lutein and zeaxanthin (promote eye health) and glucosinolates (promote the body’s natural detoxification systems).Besides its health benefits, arugula, or “rocket,” is peppery and aromatic, with a pungent, somewhat bitter flavor that adds zest to any meal.