Arugula: Produce of the Week
With this week's heat wave, salad season is here. For a leafy green livelier than lettuce or spinach, arugula is a great alternative, according to Travis Lusk, produce manager at Seward Co-op in Minneapolis.
Introducing shoppers to lesser-known vegetables like arugula can be a challenge, Lusk said, since "none of this stuff comes in a box, so there's no directions." (Even the employee in the co-op's checkout line asked whether I was buying watercress or arugula.) But preparing arugula doesn't have to be complicated. Lusk's simple recipe for the peppery green (sorry, vegetarians): "If you eat meat, it's the awesomest thing to put on a steak."
The food blog Serious Eats confirms Lusk's recommendation with a recipe for steak tagliata and arugula; Epicurious has dozens of recipes using arugula, including several pizzas; and vegans can skip the steak and prepare portobello mushrooms stuffed with lemon-scented quinoa and arugula with a recipe from from the Post Punk Kitchen.
The co-op gets the peppery greens from Riverbend Farm in Delano. Arugula is one of farmer Greg Reynolds' signature crops. "He's been growing it since the '80s," Lusk said. Since Riverbend Farm sells primarily to restaurants, keep an eye out for arugula on local menus--it just might be recently harvested from Riverbend.
Seward Co-op sells arugula for $2.49 a bunch.
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