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Season’s Eatings

05/31/2013 11:24AM ● Published by Style

WHAT’S IN SEASON NOW: Arugula

What’s delicious in a salad, on sandwiches or burgers, and pairs well with avocado, blue cheese, garlic, pasta, pears and pine nuts? Arugula! A vegetable/herb with a peppery, mustard flavor, arugula leaves somewhat resemble dandelion leaves and are especially delicious this time of year.

SELECTION AND STORAGE:

When shopping for arugula, look for leaves that are dark green and uniform in color. For the best taste, avoid selecting yellowed or wilted bunches. Smaller arugula leaves tend to be milder than larger ones. Most chefs prefer using the smaller leaves in salads, especially when combined with other lettuces. Arugula should be rinsed with cool water and dried on paper towels before placing in a plastic container or bag and refrigerating. Arugula’s flavor is best when consumed within two to three days of purchasing.

HOW TO PAIR WITH LOCAL WINE:

PlacerGROWN Chef Courtney McDonald has a refreshing recipe for Asian Inspired Arugula and Mizuna Salad with Fresh Plums (for the recipe, visit stylemg.com). The spicy characteristics of the salad’s arugula is perfect to pair with a crisp, chilled white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne or a dry Rosé. The citrus and floral notes of these lighter-style wines also complement the sweet-tart plum in the salad. You can find these wines at most Placer County wineries, including Secret Ravine Winery, Wise Villa Winery and Casque Wines.


For more information about where to buy local PlacerGROWN products, including wine, visit placergrown.org.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Europeans, who refer to arugula as salad rocket, have known for centuries about the goodness of this dark green veggie. Once considered an aphrodisiac, monasteries in the Middle Ages forbade the sensual produce to be grown. It wasn’t until the 1980s that this versatile produce item gained popularity in the U.S. Traditionally collected in the wild or grown in home gardens—along with basil and parsley—by 2006, arugula was considered to be somewhat elitist and became the symbol of sophistication in culinary circles across the country. Today, arugula is enjoyed by almost everyone.

Asian Inspired Mizuna and Arugula Salad with Fresh Plums
Recipe by PlacerGROWN Chef Courtney McDonald

  • 1 bunch mizuna, triple washed and dried
  • 1 bunch arugula, triple washed and dried
  • 4 firm-fleshed plums, rinsed
  • 1 ½ tsp. Two Spicy Ladies “Oriental Stir Fry” spice mix
  • 1 tsp. dark balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. XV olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 
Place the mizuna and arugula in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cut the plums into ¼ inch slices around the pit, and add to the greens. Discard the pits. Toss in the spice mix. Continue to toss and slowly add the vinegars and olive oil. Season the salad to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 8; prep time: 15 minutes
For more PlacerGROWN recipes by Chef Courtney McDonald, visit placergrown.org.

 

Asian Inspired Mizuna and Arugula Salad with Fresh Plums

Recipe by PlacerGROWN Chef Courtney McDonald

  • 1 bunch mizuna, triple washed and dried
  • 1 bunch arugula, triple washed and dried
  • 4 firm-fleshed plums, rinsed
  • 1 ½ tsp. Two Spicy Ladies “Oriental Stir Fry” spice mix
  • 1 tsp. dark balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. XV olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the mizuna and arugula in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cut the plums into ¼ inch slices around the pit, and add to the greens. Discard the pits. Toss in the spice mix. Continue to toss and slowly add the vinegars and olive oil. Season the salad to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 8; prep time: 15 minutes

For more PlacerGROWN recipes by Chef Courtney McDonald, visit placergrown.org.

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