Arugula Pesto



3 cups packed arugula, washed and spun dry

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, cooled

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large garlic clove, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup hot water plus additional if desired


In a food processor pulse together all ingredients except oil and water until arugula is chopped fine. With motor running add oil in a stream, blending mixture until smooth. Sauce may be made up to this point 1 week ahead and chilled, its surface covered with plastic wrap. Bring sauce to room temperature to continue. Stir in 1/4 cup hot water plus additional for thinner consistency if desired.

Wide Green Noodles, Cauliflower, and Broccoli in Mustard Butter

  • 7 oz. fresh pasta noodles (spinach fettucine is ideal)
  • 7 Tbs. soft butter
  • 2 Tbs. strong Dijon mustard
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. parsley or a handful of arugula, chopped
  • 1 c. bread crumbs
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes, cut in pieces
  • 3-4 c. broccoli and cauliflower florets, broken into tiny pieces
  • thin strip lemon peel, finely slivered
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cream 4 Tbs. of the butter with the mustard, green onions, garlic, vinegar and parsley or arugula.  Melt the remaining butter, add the bread crumbs, and fry them until they are crisp and browned.  Melt the mustard butter over a low flame, add a little of the boiling pasta water and the sun-dried tomatoes.  Drop the broccoli and cauliflower florets into the boiling pasta water, return to a boil, and cook about 1 minute.  Scoop them out and add them to the mustard butter.

Next, cook the pasta; then add it with the lemon to the vegetables.  Toss well with a pair of tongs to mix, season with salt and pepper.  Serve on warm plates garnished with breadcrumbs and Parmesan.

Serves two to four.

Adapted from The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison with Edward Espe Brown.

Red Lentil Salad with Feta and Beets

  • 2-3 beets
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced shallots (or 1 small onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground fennel seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 bunch arugula, torn into bite-size pieces
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wrap the beets in foil and roast them for 45 minutes, or until tender; let cool.  Peel the beets (rubbing under cold water) and cut them into wedges.  In a medium skillet, heat the oil until shimmering.  Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add cumin and fennel seeds and cook just until fragrant.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the vinegar, lemon juice and cayenne.  Season with salt and pepper and whisk until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add lentils and cook just until tender.  Drain and transfer to a bowl.  Toss the lentils with half the vinaigrette and let cool.  Stir in parsley.  Toss the arugula and beets with the remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.  Mound the salad on dinner plates and spoon the lentils on top.  Garnish with the feta and serve.  Serves 4.  From Food and Wine Jan. 2001.

Radish Salad

  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
  • olive oil
  • 2 to 4 ounces Parmesan
  • salt and pepper
  • radish sprouts, leaves, or arugula greens, optional

Set aside a handful of the most tender radish greens. Trim the radish roots, leaving just a bit of the stem, and wash them well. Wick up the excess moisture with a towel, then thinly slice, either lengthwise or crosswise. Put them in a bowl and toss with salt, chives, radish greens, and enough oil to coat lightly.   Put the radishes on a platter, shave the cheese over them, and add pepper and the optional greens, if using.

Adapted from Deborah Madison.

Pasta with Arugula and Goat Cheese Sauce

Makes 4 servings.

  • a bunch of fresh arugula
  • 4 springs fresh parsley
  • 1 8 ounce container low-fat yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • S and P to taste
  • 1 pound fusilli noodles
  • Grated parmesan cheese, as garnish

Before preparing sauce, fill a large casserole with water, and bring the water to a boil. Wash and clean well the arugula and parsley. Dry thoroughly. Trim and chop both the arugula and the parsley. Place the arugula and the parsley in a food processor. Add the yogurt or sour cream, goat cheese, salt, and pepper. Blend the ingredients thoroughly. Keep the sauce at room temperature until ready to use. Add a pinch of salt to the boiling water, and cook the fusilli noodles following the instructions on the package. When the noodles are cooked, drain them, and place them in four serving dishes. Pour the sauce evenly over the top of each serving and add some cheese to each dish. Serve immediately.

From A Complete Menu Cookbook for All Occasions by Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette.

Oriental Noodle Salad

  • 4 Tbs toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs grated ginger
  • 4 Tbs soy sauce
  • 3 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup veg. or sesame oil
  • hot pepper oil (optional)
  • 1/2 onion or 6 scallions, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups shrimp (optional)
  • 2-3 handfuls of chopped arugula
  • 6 oz soba noodles

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and hot pepper to taste.  Stir in onions, sesame seeds and meat.  Chicken, turkey or marinated tofu can be substituted for shrimp.  Set aside and allow to marinate for 10-15 minutes.  Boil soba noodles according to directions on package.  Rinse in cold water, drain and mix in.  Trim any fibrous stem ends from pea greens, steam til bright green.  Drain and add to salad.  Adjust seasonings, toss and serve.

Bruschette con Pesto di Rucola

Makes about 1 cup.

The Bruschette

Cut into squares: slices of sturdy bread. Brush with olive oil and rub with a clove of garlic. Then grill or broil until light brown.

The Spread:

In a food processor or blender, combine til smooth:

  • A handful of arugula or wild arugula (the wild will be spicier)
  • S & P to taste
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Blend together to make a thick paste. Add:

  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Top the bruschette.

Adapted from The Simple Grande Gardening Cookbook by Jean Ann Pollard.

Arugula Soup

Cooking the greens will mellow their flavor quite a bit.  The soup itself has the consistency of cream of spinach soup with the unique flavor of arugula.  We serve this soup with a hearty, peasant style bread and hard cheese and fruit.

  • ½ to 1 lb. greens
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 baguette
  • 3-4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 5-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

This recipe works best if the baguette is somewhat stale, which can be achieved by simply leaving it out, uncovered overnight.  In a large heavy-bottomed pot, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until browned.  Add arugula and other greens and sauté until wilted.  Add stock and cover.  While the soup is coming to a boil, break or cut the baguette into 2-inch chunks.  When the stock is at a full boil, add the bread chunks and allow the soup to simmer until the bread is thoroughly soaked.  Place the soup in a food processor and blend until smooth.  More stock can be added at this time if the soup is too thick.  Add salt and pepper to taste and reheat if necessary.