Acquiring a Taste for Arugula

Before Arugula is gone for the year I thought it was a fitting good bye to talk about our hate/love relationship. Before I started growing my own I didn’t particularly like arugula. Arugula manifested in my garden as a zero start up cost, zero maintenance cost and zero labour involved food plant. My first perennial arugula was a mysterious free be that showed up and grew unannounced. Arugula can and does grow anywhere, left unattended this free be soon bloomed into a perpetual fountain of salad greens. Problem was I didn’t “like” arugula and I was staring at a “free” all you can eat arugula salad bar right literally right at my door step. Now, I will brag about my garden fresh arugula tasting significantly better than what is available at the super market but that alone was not enough to convince me I truly enjoyed eating it. It’s taken me several years of feeling guilty for not liking this west coast garden perennial garden staple before I started to come to terms with its sharp peppery nature. I started to ease into the arugula realm by mixing small amounts of arugula with other greens for salads and dressing with sweet vinaigrettes to counter act arugula’s sharpness. I would split blanched arugula half and half with an old familiar favorite like spinach in lasagnas or creamy pasta dishes and slowly over time arugula started to grow on me, like the weed that it is! Before I began the food garden I would have never purchased a bag of “baby arugula” at the store but today arugula and I are on much better terms, I am even looking forward to us meeting up again next spring.

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