Check any advice on healthy eating and one thing they will all say is to eat your greens. If you avoid eating leafy greens because you hate salad, well, we've got a few recipes you should try. In fact, you don't have to eat salads at all to get your greens, as our favorite arugula recipes will show you.
Arugula, also known as rocket, is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, along with broccoli and kale. It's super nutritious, with high amounts of vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C, along with calcium, folate and nitrate.
If you have a garden, arugula grows super fast and is the perfect plant to start in early spring, but it also grows well in the fall since arugula prefers cooler temperatures and shady spots. If you're growing arugula, harvest them young and to pick the bright green outer leaves. You can also find arugula pretty much year-round in grocery stores and during the early and late growing seasons at your local farmer's markets.
Arugula is known for its spicy kick, but I find it to be peppery (as in black pepper rather than green peppers or chilies), slightly sweet, and full of delicious flavor. It's excellent in dishes where you need something with a bit of a bite to add flavor. As tasty as it is to make an arugula salad with a simple vinaigrette, you can also treat arugula like spinach. Sauté it, use it as a stuffing, you can even make arugula pesto with it!
Check out some of our favorite arugula recipes and get ready to eat this spicy green.
1. Arugula Pesto
If you have an abundance of fresh arugula that you don't want to waste, a great recipe to whip up in your food processor is arugula pesto. Make it like traditional basil pesto, just swap out the basil for arugula.
Use this arugula recipe as a healthy replacement for mayonnaise on a sandwich or use to it top fish or grilled chicken. Arugula pesto has a little more of a pepper bite to it, but it's just as delicious! You can even freeze the leftovers.
2. BLT with Arugula
Maybe renaming this recipe to a BAT is more appropriate since the lettuce is replaced with peppery arugula, which by the way is wilted in some of the bacon fat! BLTs are one of my go-to sandwiches for a super quick weeknight meal.
The arugula flavor is nicely paired with the smoky bacon and crisp tomato-I'm also thinking it might not be a bad idea to add in some of that arugula pesto instead of mayonnaise!
3. Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza
Arugula on pizza might sound a little unusual, but it happens to be one of my favorite pizza toppings. This simple pizza recipe is so quick to make and perfect for any busy weeknight. The combination of the flavorful arugula and salty prosciutto will make you feel like you're at a five star pizza restaurant.
Finish off this pizza with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and if you're like me, grilling pizza is the way to go!
4. Balsamic Grilled Steak Salad with Peaches
Balsamic marinated steak, sweet peaches, and tangy blue cheese make up this savory, sweet and healthy arugula salad recipe all in one bowl. If you don't like blue cheese, you can also try using feta, goat cheese or Parmesan cheese.
Get ready to include this simple arugula steak salad in your dinner rotation.
5. Baked Frittata with Roasted Red Peppers, Arugula and Basil Pesto
A frittata is basically like a crustless quiche and so simple to make. I love to serve frittatas for breakfast, but it also makes a great dinner side dish to go alongside your favorite soup recipe or green salad.
The peppery arugula, roasted red peppers and basil pesto (you can also use arugula pesto) fill this frittata with delicious Italian flavors.
6. Roast Beef and Arugula Bundles
An arugula salad makes a great side dish or appetizer, but this recipe for roast beef and arugula bundles is one to try out for your next get-together. The fresh greens are tossed in a simple lemon dressing and wrapped in roast beef along with shaved Parmesan cheese. How easy is that?
7. Spinach and Arugula Lasagna Roll Ups
I'm a huge fan of lasagna and the added fresh arugula leaves and spinach rolled in the pasta add in some extra green color. The spice from the arugula goes so well with the creaminess from the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. This arugula recipe proves that arugula leaves aren't just for a simple salad!
8. Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Arugula, Pine Nuts, and Herb Dressing
Pasta salad is a refreshing side dish perfect for a barbecue or just on its own. This pasta salad recipe combines peppery arugula leaves, sweet grape tomatoes, red onion and pine nuts all in a creamy basil and cilantro mayonnaise dressing. Your new favorite recipe!
9. Grilled Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
These rustic, open faced pork tenderloin sandwiches with basil-chive aioli from Bon Appétit prove that arugula leaves are the ideal greens for any sandwich!
10. The Green Vesper
So, I know this green cocktail might not be for everyone, but hey, it's a great way to sneak in some veggies! Start off my making an arugula simple syrup with sugar, water and arugula leaves and combine the syrup with gin, vodka, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
The peppery arugula simple syrup really balances out the gin and vodka nicely. Worth trying, right?
11. Spinach and Arugula Breakfast Hash
Sautéed arugula and eggs are amazing together. The peppery taste of the arugula balances the richness of the eggs, and it's just so, so good. When you toss in potatoes and garlic, it's breakfast magic (not to mention gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo friendly). You can also swap the potatoes out for sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
This post was originally published on March 21, 2018.