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drowning in arugula

Hello, We had a terrible growing season here in the midwest so I didn't put in a fall garden. Volunteer arugula filled the void and is thick as a lawn. The weather is going to get pretty bad soon so I would like to harvest as much as possible. I have a lot of kakai pumpkins also so I was thinking of making a pesto with the seeds from the pumpkins and the argula. Does anyone have any other ideas for freezing, canning, or drying. Thanks, Willie

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  1. Well, I'd suggest blanching it and freezing it. You can probably substitute it for spinach in many cases. I've made arugula pesto. Not bad.

    1 Reply
    1. re: donnahobrien

      Yeah I could do the most amount of processing in the shortest amount of time by doing that and i would have more flexibility with it later. Thanks

    2. I think arugula sauteed in olive oil with garlic is a great dish when the arugula is hearty. Would that freeze well...it certainly will reduce the volume.

      1 Reply
      1. re: escondido123

        I'm not sure how that would freeze. I have vacuum bags and a really cold freezer so that should help. I will give it a try. I need to do some searching and see how the flavor holds up to freezing. Thanks for the quick reply, this place is great.

      2. I just sauteed arugula with spinach and add pine nuts. When finished, I topped with goat cheese..it melted into the mix..ambrosia...

        1. I love arugula as a base over which to place sliced flank steak with grana and a nice balsamic dressing. It goes great with blue cheese, too. Lightly sauteed, it's a great side dish or bed for fish dishes, too.

          1. to freeze it plain, just blanch in boiling water for 1 - 2 minutes, shock in ice water, drain thoroughly, and store in freezer bags.

            it also freezes well as a prepared side dish - sauté with garlic & onion until wilted, season to taste, let cool, and transfer to freezer-safe containers.

            pesto freezes beautifully - try making a few variations with walnuts, pine nuts, pistachio...

            and for ways to use some of it now:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/795932
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/836735
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/784308
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/831190
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/529935
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/317678

            1 Reply
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              That's great to hear it freezes well and thanks for the links.

            2. Lucky you! I like to toss arugula with pasta (and whatever other ingredients you like--goat cheese, like another poster above mentioned, is a good one.) I don't saute it, because even light sauteing removes the distinctive flavor of arugula and makes it taste more generically "green"--which is fine for many, but I prefer to have it taste like itself. I just add the raw arugula to the hot pasta and the heat will wilt it just enough (and, yes, reduce its volume quite a bit, add a lot!) without damaging the peppery flavor.

              I also love making a vinaigrette out of olive oil, lemon juice, finally minced capers and anchovy fillets, and fresh-ground black pepper and tossing this with arugula. I add cherry tomatoes too, if I've got them, but they're not necessary--just the arugula is enough. You'll go through a lot of it this way, it's that good!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Lady_Tenar

                This is close to one of my favorite uses (although it is sadly not a method of preservation) - my vinaigrette is just good olive oil, lemon, and a bit of truffle oil (the kind made from real truffles). Fried chips of garlic, cherry tomatoes, and shaved parmesan. Toss with a giant pile of arugula. This is one of the few green salads I actually get regular cravings for - I can eat a substantial pile next to a steak.

                I have yet to experience the phenomenon of "too much arugula." :)

                1. re: Lady_Tenar

                  yes it is lucky i usually have this situation with zuchinni (not so lucky)

                2. Thanks everyone I'm going to be busy trying all your suggestions.