Posts Tagged ‘arugula’

I love salads.  The problem is that I quickly get bored with the same old thing.  Apple and blue cheese.  Cobb.  Caesar.  They are all good but I’ve eaten these salads a thousand times.   The farmers markets here are turning out all kinds of fresh lettuce and greens for good salad making.  This is a very simple recipe but it has a great balanced flavor.

I made this salad twice, once with toasted sunflower seeds and the next with pecans.  Both are delicious so use whatever seeds or nuts you have around.  Toasting them first helps provide more crunch and a nuttier flavor.  The grapes provide good antioxidants. 

Arugula, Grapes, and Pecan Salad

Adapted from Cooking Light May 2008


  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon stone-ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
  • 7 cups loosely packed baby arugula
  • 2 cups red grapes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pecans
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  1. Combine vinegar, honey, syrup, and mustard in a small bowl.  Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk.
  2. Combine arugula, grapes, and nuts in a large bowl.  Drizzle vinegar mixture over arugula; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss gently to coat.  



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I bought a box of quinoa a few weeks ago and it’s been sitting in my pantry.  I’ve never cooked or eaten quinoa and I still haven’t learned how to pronounce it.  But I found this recipe from the Mayo Clinic, built up some courage, and adapted it for the ingredients that I had in my kitchen.  It wasn’t a difficult dish to make but I haven’t made up my mind about how I feel about quinoa.  It has some subtle nutty flavors with a slightly crunchy texture but it’s still a little weird and different.  Let’s just say that it doesn’t thrill me.  I would suggest adding whatever veggies to the risotto that you would enjoy – I did roasted red pepper and arugula.  I’m sure any kind of mushroom would also be delicious.

Quinoa Risotto with Roasted Red Peppers & Arugula

Adapted from the Mayo Clinic

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed

  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth

  • 2 cups chopped, stemmed arugula
  • ½ cup of roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Sea Salt & Freshly Ground pepper to taste

1.  In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and quinoa and cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Don’t let the garlic brown.

2.  Add the stock ½ cup at a time until absorbed by the quinoa and then continue to add the stock ½ cup at a time until all the stock has been added.  Cook at medium heat until the quinoa is almost tender to the bite but slightly hard in the center, and once all the stock has been added, about 12 minutes. The mixture will be brothy. Stir in the arugula and roasted red peppers and simmer until the quinoa grains have turned from white to translucent, about 2 minutes longer.

3.  Stir in the cheese and season with the salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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Lemon Penne with Arugula

I bought these new yellow ballet flats, which make me think of spring.  And in cooking, the yellow of lemon and freshness and lightness of their taste in a dish makes me yearn for warmer, sunnier days.  So even if spring hasn’t fully arrived here, I can pretend it has with my yellow shoes and my lemon penne with arugula.  This was a quick dinner that has a crisp taste and highlights the flavors of all the greens and tomatoes. 

I lightened the dish by using low-fat milk instead of the heavy cream.  I mixed in a little Wondra (quick dissolving flour) to the butter to thicken the milk since I wasn’t using cream.  You don’t get the same creaminess with the milk but it really reduces the amount of fat in the recipe.  I also substituted whole-wheat pasta for regular pasta.  Give this dish a try, especially if you’ve never had lemon with your pasta.  It’s great as a meal onto itself or as a side dish for fish or chicken.

Lemon Penne with Arugula

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home


1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of minced garlic (2 cloves)

2 cups of heavy cream (I used milk)

3 lemons

1 bunch of broccoli

1 pound of dried penne or fusili pasta

½ pound baby arugula

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream or milk, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta.
  4. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.


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