Arugula, also known as rocket or Italian cress, is a bitter, peppery green with an assertive flavor. It’s stronger than spinach, but can be used most any place spinach is. It’s best raw in a salad or tossed in hot pasta until just wilted. We love it in a salad with dried cranberries, almonds, oil and vinegar, in a ham sandwich in lieu of lettuce or tossed on pizza. In ancient times, eating arugula was thought to bring good luck. That’s never been proven, but it’s never been disproven either—you’ll just have to try it for yourself.
- Use arugula instead of lettuce in sandwiches.
- Mix arugula with grapefruit pieces, dress with a light, lemony vinaigrette, and top with shaved Parmesan.
- Substitute arugula for basil in pesto.
- Add it to tomato sauce. Just stir it in and cook long enough for it to wilt—about a minutes or two. (This is also an easy way to freshen up jarred sauce.)
- Cook it with white beans, black pepper and Parmesan cheese.
- Make a risotto with shiitake mushrooms, arugula and scallops. Use white wine, clam juice and stock, and add the arugula at the very end of the cooking time. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
- Make a salad of roasted beets, arugula and blue cheese. Serve warm.
- Use chopped arugula to add flavor and color to chicken, potato or tuna salad.