Arugula is one of the leafy greens we are definitely looking forward to this spring! It’s commonly used as a salad green and is known for its zesty, peppery flavor. The leaves are typically pretty narrow with curvy or spiky edges—its wild looks match its wild taste! Arugula has plenty of nutrients, too. Two cups of raw arugula leaves (about what you would use for a large plate of salad) are an excellent source of vitamins A and K, and a good source of vitamin C and the B vitamin folate. It’s a super salad green, for sure!
Here at the Barn, we plant arugula seeds in early spring as soon as we can start digging. Then we harvest the leaves about a month later—it grows pretty fast! It’s important to start picking the leaves before it gets too warm out. By the time summer arrives, the flavor of the leaves turns from pleasantly peppery to seriously spicy. We like to start harvesting as soon as the leaves are a few inches long. Then, we also get in an early fall harvest by planting arugula seeds by mid-August.
The possibilities with this great green are endless! It makes a great base for salads, and can be mixed with other greens like spinach if the flavor is too intense for young kids. We like to toss it on top of whole wheat pizza, or mix it in with pasta dishes. It even makes a great pesto! Serve it mixed in with other spring greens as part of the recipe below for Mixed Greens with this delicious and nutritious Flaxseed Oil Dressing, from Appetite for Life.
Mixed Greens with Flaxseed Oil* Dressing
This salad is bursting with flavor and nutrition, including antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. You can make this flaxseed oil salad dressing directly in the bowl with the mixed greens. Kids like this because they can use their hands to mix the salad—just make sure those hands are super clean!
Kids can juice lemons, add ingredients, and toss salad using their hands.
5 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
5 cups chopped mixed greens such as butter and leaf lettuce (arugula!)
¼ cup flaxseed oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* We recommend using Barlean’s Flaxseed Oil for the best flavor.
- In a large salad bowl, place chopped greens. Evenly drizzle oil over greens.
- Squeeze juice from lemon over greens. Add soy sauce, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
- With clean hands, toss salad to evenly distribute dressing.
Makes 10 servings (1 cup per serving).
Nutrition Facts per serving: 60 calories; 6g fat (1g sat fat, 1g mono, 4g poly, 0g trans fat); 0mg cholesterol; 3g carbohydrate (1g fiber, 2g sugar); 1g protein; 95mg sodium; 50% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 15% DV vitamin C; 2% DV calcium; 4% DV iron.
What’s your favorite way of eating arugula leaves?