How to cook arugula
Arugula can be used raw or cooked, but only needs a bit of heat. I prefer to use it on pizza, added into pasta at the end of cooking, or used as a base for salads.
How to buy arugula
Look for greens that are crisp and do not have any wet, sliminess to them. Older leaves will look wilted. The arugula should also have a solid green color with no yellowing around the edges.
How to store arugula
Store arugula unwashed in a sealed container or plastic bag. Arugula goes bad quickly, so I recommend using it within a couple days of purchasing. If you can find arugula with the roots still attached, purchase and wrap the roots in a damp towel, then place in a plastic bag.
Arugula (also known as Rocket) is a green that I had never even touched before I joined the CSA. I tried three varieties my very first day with the farm, and ending up loving their diverse flavors. There was a variety that was slightly earthy and sweet, while another variety was so spicy that it almost brought tears to my eyes. Each variety of arugula brings a special flavor to the dish/salad it is used in. I highly suggest doing a sampling if possible since the flavors vary greatly.
Most arugula sold in stores is baby arugula, but there are some varieties that have big leaves, akin to the size of spinach sold in a bunch. The baby and smaller varieties tend to be less peppery than the larger, full-leaf varieties. If you can’t find arugula, some mustard greens are a good alternative for the bite, while spinach will work in place of texture. Alternately the smaller, baby varieties are mellow enough that arugula can take the place of spinach.
To freeze arugula, follow the same principle as other greens: blanch for two minutes, plunge in ice bath, pat excess moisture off, and place in an airtight freezer-safe container. I find frozen arugula works great in stir-fries or pizza.