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I had my first salad of arugula today from seeds that I planted in late August. There have been a few thinnings before today, but right now the leaves are baby size, about 3 inches at the longest. They have that classic arugula bite, but not too sharp and quite tender as well.

I used to think arugula was a Yiddish word because of its sound-alike quality to bubbela, mamala, and totala, but it’s an Italian name that also answers to rocket and roquette.

Plant arugula for a fall or winter crop when the weather just begins to cool and daytime temperature highs tend to be lower than the mid 80’s. Here, near Ithaca NY, I seeded the last week of August.  The plants can withstand frosts and with some protection, like a row cover or by planting in a cold frame, arugula can be harvested much or all of the winter, depending on the severity of your climate.

Besides its use as a salad green, add arugula to sandwiches, dips, pestos, and mashed potatoes. Bigger leaves that are more pungent than the baby greens are mellowed by very quick cooking or blanching.



Arugula Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
My lunch salad is a slight variation on a recipe in The Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden- I used toasted almonds in place of the pine nuts.
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes (dry packed, not in oil)
  • 4 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted in a 350F oven for 3 to 4 minutes
  • ½ cup cubed fresh or smoked mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. In a heatproof bowl, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water to cover for 15 minutes.
  2. Place the arugula, nuts, and mozzarella in a bowl.
  3. In a cup, mix together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, and black pepper.
  4. Drain and chop the sun-dried tomatoes and add to the salad.
  5. Drizzle with the dressing and toss.