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Arugula Leaves

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Arugula Leaves
Incorporate healthy arugula leaves in your salads for a pungent tang and for its myriad health benefits. Blend arugula pesto for pastas and risotto.

Arugula is a leafy green herb of the mustard family. It has long leaves that are dark green in color. Used often in Italian cuisine, arugula is also known as roquette, rucola, Italian cress, Mediterranean rocket, etc. The flavor of this leaf matches that of watercress and radish and is as peppery and hot. It is a good source of calcium, magnesium, Vitamin A and C and is very low in calories. It can be eaten raw or can be cooked and consumed. When cooked mildly, the few nutrients get absorbed well.

Arugula leaves cannot be stored for long. They can be stored in a refrigerator in plastic bags after wiping dry. While buying arugula, look for bright green leaves that are not wilting or browning, with fresh roots. The leaves should be crisp. Pick up dark leaves of uniform color. Younger leaves are tender and less spicy.

Arugula nutritive and disease fighting benefits

  • Arugula is a good source of iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, folate, vitamins and minerals.

  • Its phytochemicals can help counter carcinogenic effects of estrogen and are beneficial as protection as prostate, breast, cervical and colon cancers.

  • It is a rich antioxidant.

  • Arugula is rich in Vitamin K, 100 g provides about 90% of recommended intake. This makes for stronger bones and protects against Alzheimer’s disease as it limits neuronal damage in the brain.

  • Rich in fiber.

  • Strengthens the cardiovascular system.

  • Boosts the immune system.

  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory.

  • Prevents macular degeneration.

Cooking with arugula

You can make your own salads with arugula. Team it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or even lemon juice dressing. As arugula is strongly flavored, it is mixed with milder greens to make a salad. It can be combined with either strawberry, red peppers, balsamic vinaigrette for a cool summer salad or can be combined with pears, cranberry, toasted pecans and cranberry vinaigrette for a warm winter salad. Arugula can also be pureed and used in soups. You can add arugula leaves to stir-fries and sautéed veggies.

Arugula recipes

Arugula pesto recipe

You can make arugula pesto and store in the refrigerator for about a week. Blend arugula leaves, garlic, cheese, pine nuts, olive oil can salt. You can replace pine nuts with almonds. Lightly toast the pine nuts before you add them – this makes for a more flavorful pesto. Younger leaves are less pungent. Remove the stems before you use the leaves.

Arugula and cheese recipe

Arugula 2 cups
Parmigiano cheese as per taste
Fennel bulbs 2
Lemon 1, extract juice
Extra virgin olive oil as per taste
Freshly ground pepper as per taste

In a salad bowl, arrange the arugula leaves. Add pepper and drizzle olive oil. After removing the leafy top and the stem of the fennel, cut them into round thin slices and place them over the arugula. Pour the lemon juice over the fennel and arugula. Drizzle olive oil and add more freshly ground pepper. Shave the cheese using a potato peeler and cover the salad with cheese.

Arugula salad recipe

Arugula 1 pound, rinsed and dried
Lemon juice as per taste
Olive oil as per taste
Salt and pepper as per taste

Rinse and dry the arugula. Place arugula leaves in a bowl and sprinkle salt over it. Pour olive oil and lemon juice in equal parts over the leaves. Toss the salad. Add pepper and salt to taste

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Tags:#arugula leaves #arugula #arugula salad #arugula pesto
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