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Arugula, arugula everywhere!

I have a big ole bag on leftover baby arugula. I'm not a fan of the bitter green, but don't want it to go to waste. Is there some sort of recipe that masks the strange peppery flavor? Maybe I can incorporate it into some sauce or something? I have thought about a pesto, but like I said, I'm not too stoked on these darn things. :)

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  1. perhaps this will help:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/396020

    and if that doesn't do it:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/317678
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/328612

    fruit is a common pairing with arugula because the sweetness helps cut the peppery bite. during summer it's often served with strawberries, but right now i'd suggest pears or dried cherries.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      If not fruit, you could also try bacon. Both the smoke and the fat will help to mask the bitterness of the arugula. Plus, bacon makes everything better!!!

    2. I love arugula tossed with hot pasta--the heat from the pasta wilts it a little. I also throw in sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, goat cheese & lemon juice & olive oil.Sometimes I add shrimp or whatever else I need to clean out of my fridge.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sparkareno

        I do the same thing.. I love whole wheat penne tossed with arugula, lemon, parmesan, and olives. My husband has his portion without the arugula!

      2. You can combine it with basil and sun dried tomatoes for pesto; this way, the primary flavor won't be the arugula but it will bring the basil to another level..also, pesto freezes extremely well.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cherylptw

          Second the pesto idea. Arugula & walnut pesto is seriously tasty. Maybe use a different nut though, as walnuts can sometimes have a bitter taste to them, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just that you wouldn't want to add it to something that's else that's also bitter...

        2. I love it in a nice simple risotto with spinach... otherwise, pasta for sure, or it makes a fantastic addition to most any sandwich with a rich filling -- the sharpness adds a really nice contrast.

          1. Make a salad with lemon oil, grated parmesan, and shrimp.

            1. If you don't actually like the taste, all these salads are pretty much useless, yet it's not good cooked. You could make straccetti (Italian stir-fried beef) to which the arugula would be added just at the end, but it still helps to like the taste. Otherwise, make a spread with cream cheese (or stracchino or robiola), garlic, and the arugula finely chopped.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mbfant

                I must disagree. i think arugula is very good cooked or raw. Cooking it removes some of the peppery taste, but it is a perfectly nice vegetable to saute quickly, IMHO.

              2. I sometimes put one or two poached eggs over it, preferably with good tomatoes (hard this time of year) and some thick shavings of parmesan w/ black pepper and just a touch of vinagrette. This wilts the salad a little and provides the richness of a soft yolk, both of which mute the arugula flavor somewhat, although the fact of the matter is you're still eating an arugula salad. If you really dislike the flavor, maybe just give it to a friend who enjoys it?

                1. Has anyone ever just cooked it and served it as a side dish? This is the wintertime grocery store stuff so it's pretty bitter but that's fine with me. Perhaps blanch, shock and then saute with some sliced garlic in evoo? I'm not looking for salad, pasta, soup, etc. Just something cooked. Thanks all.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: c oliver

                    sure, i've done it. and there's no need to blanch first - just saute. if you want an acid component, i like sherry vinegar or lemon with it.

                    i also like to toss some onto a frittata before i stick it under the broiler, and the leaves get a little crispy. mmm. or you can use it on homemade pizza!

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Just how I do spinach. And I've become rather a sherry vinegar addict in the last six months. I've put it on pizza after cooking but like the idea of before also. Thanks, ghg.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        now that you mention it, i remember the discussion about your sherry vinegar shopping excursion. it is addictive :) enjoy!

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Yes, a CH in NYC took us to Despana where I bought two different ones. And I've used lemon juice alot more since becoming a registered CH :)

                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I like to saute it like spinach, sometimes I add in a bit of cooked white beans.

                        The best unconventional pizza I've had was super thin crust brushed with olive oil and baked. Arugula and cherry tomatoes tossed with lemon and evoo were put on top of the warm crust so the arugula softened a bit. Shards of fresh parm on top...

                        1. re: cheesecake17

                          That pizza sounds great. Were the tomatoes cooked at all? I can see them being cooked til they soften or something.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Nope, they were teeny grape tomatoes sliced in half.

                    2. its good in one of the complex ottolenghi grain salads - like the red rice and quinoa version - I dont think you'd notice the bitterness will all the other things going on in that salad.

                      1. Very good and not peppery in any noodle stir fry.