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arugula for a crowd

I'm giving an inaugural celebration party with lots of election themed foods and too many people for anything requiring plates and utensils. For fun with President elect Obama's "price of arugula" comments, I would like to make some sort of finger food/dip or spread sort of thing made with arugula. Any ideas?

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  1. I make a garlic spinach spread that would work with arugula - you just puree fresh spinach (arugula) with garlic and olive oil in the food processor until almost smooth. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. I would be careful the arugula wasn't bitter first though.

    1. You can make an arugula pesto. Just substitute some or all of the stereotypical basil in the recipe with arugula.

      5 Replies
      1. re: HaagenDazs

        I make arugula pesto often. I use walnuts instead of pine nuts. Just make sure to use baby arugula (it's less bitter and more tender) and have it washed and dried really well. You can spread it on top of crostini and top each with a shaving of cheese.

        1. re: cheesecake17

          Yeah - it's good! Pesto refers to the way it's made similar to a mortar and PESTLE - same word origin. You can use any tender green leaf, any nut, and any cheese you want. You can even eliminate some of those items, it doens't have to have nuts in it for instance.

          In any situation, if you first blanch the leaves in boiling water and then shock them in cold water, you get a much nicer colored pesto that won't turn brownish-gray if it sits out for a little while. Of course, as cheesecake mentioned, make sure they are dried out pretty well before continuing.

          1. re: cheesecake17

            i'm a fan of almonds with arugula for a pesto type sauce and don't add the cheese.

            it is really nice with a pork tenderloin and could be a play for another infamous comment of his. if you need a "lipstick" you could coat it in a nice chipotle based rub.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              actually, the centerpiece is a stuffed pig with lipstick!

              1. re: shellybe

                hope it doesn't say "bite me!" at the table.

        2. I like the New Year's Eve Gougeres from Zuni. Basic gougere/choux dough with pickled onions, arugula, and bacon.

          1. I don't know about a proper dip with arugula, but perhaps you could service arugula in bacon vinaigrette in some parmesan cups. That would obviously take a bit of work, but the presentation would be lovely.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JungMann

              i did something similar recently for a party with 20-25 ppl. def a little prep is required but parm cups can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for a few hours.

              i just used a simple arugula salad with toasted pine nuts, shaved parmesan, sliced artichokes and a vinaigrette - it was def a hit. this actually makes me laugh because of a recent chowhound post re: mark bittman's pantry throwaways. i was embarrassed and would never admit it openly but i used the horrible already grated parm from kraft - ugh the horror! but noone was the wiser and it made an otherwise hectic kitchen prep day a breeze...good luck!

            2. I was really excited to make something arugula-y for our party as well.

              Arugula pesto seems like the most appealing option here. Thinking about making challah to go with---> symbolize the immediate focus on Israel starting next week.