Arugula is a type of mustard green that has a peppery and sometimes sharp flavor. The more mature it is when harvested, the spicier it tends to be. Arugula also tends to be a bit hotter when grown in the summer months.
Storage and Handling:
Fresh greens can be finicky. If they get too dry, they wilt. If they are too wet, they get slimy.
Loose greens such as arugula and salad mix will keep best in a damp (not wet), vented environment. They will hold for up to 3 days in the vented greens bags they were delivered in. For longer storage, wash and spin your greens in a salad spinner. We like to hold them in the spinner in the fridge, where they will store for at least 6 days, just follow the steps below:
Step One: Put your greens into the salad spinner basket, fill up the bowl with cold water and gently agitate the greens in the water. Then let the greens sit in the water for about 5 minutes, allowing any residual dirt to settle to the bottom. Then remove the basket, dump the dirty water, and spin the greens dry.
Step Two: At this point, I’ll just lightly spritz (be careful of using the full force of the sprayer, you can actually “bruise” the greens) the greens with the sink sprayer and spin them, repeating this step once or twice as necessary. If your greens are particularly gritty, you can repeat step one.
Step Three: Once your greens are spun dry, put the lid on leaving the greens clean and dry in the basket of your spinner and store them this way in the fridge for up to a week! If you need to return them to a bag for storage space reasons, the vented bag that they came in is your best option. Please note, the bag should be dry and the greens will not last more than 3 days in this bag!!!! Especially if they are wet!
Arugula can be used fresh to prepare a variety of exciting salads, simple or complex. It can also be used in hot entrees where its peppery heat is mellowed with a little cooking. You may see it in Italian recipes served with pastas or polenta. Since it’s just as yummy wilted as it is fresh, I like to make “hot salads”, where I sauté veggies and add them to the Arugula while still hot and toss it all together with a simple vinaigrette for a nice light dinner.