Sunday, April 7, 2013

Arugula From the Garden to the Table

Recently Meal Makers worked with the Overbook Arts and Environmental Center in harvesting Arugula from their high tunnel greenhouse. The center's director Jerome Shabazz, along with other members of the center were shown how to harvest the Arugula by the master garden. 

Arugula has a strong bitter or almost peppery taste, a result of the alkaloids, or plant medicine it contains.
Arugula is classified as a cruciferous vegetable along with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens, and others.
Arugula contains important photochemical and antioxidants. The photochemical in arugula have been shown to detoxify carcinogens before they damage your cells. The beta carotene (lutein and zeaxanthin) present in arugula is a potent antioxidant. These are believed to be the one-two punch that makes it such a powerful cancer preventative.
Low in calories, arugula is a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins C, A, and K, iron and potassium.
Arugula is also great for improving the quality of your blood, and known for its aphrodisiac qualities.

The Arugula was washed and spin dried in preparation for two recipes demonstrated by Chef Diane

Arugula with Mushrooms

1 Tbsp    Grape seed oil
1/2 cup   Onions, Medium dice
3 cloves  Garlic, Minced
1/2 cup   Assorted Mushrooms, sliced
3 cups    Arugula, pre-washed 
to taste  Sea salt & pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for a few mintues then add mushrooms and garlic. Saute the onions mushrooms and garlic about 
5 minutes then add Arugula. Stir to wilt and season with salt and pepper.
Serves 4

Arugula Pesto with Whole grain Pasta

Whole Grain Pasta Arugula Pesto
Yield: 1 ½  cup
2 cups arugula leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup walnuts pieces, toasted
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup water or vegetable broth
½  teaspoon salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 Whole grain spaghetti, cooked
In a blender or food processor add Arugula, walnuts, garlic, cheese and pulse several times.
Slowly add olive oil then water or broth. Season with salt and pepper.
If pasta is cold warm in a skillet over medium heat. Toss pasta and pesto sauce. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

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