Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 4 -- Braising Greens

Roots Farm CSA Week 4: September 27 & 30

This Week:
-Tomatoes: Arkansas Traveller, Pink Beauty, Sunny Goliath, Whopper, Big Beef, Trust, Sungold cherry
-Eggplant: Nadia, Nubia, Pingtung Long
-Peppers: Red, Yellow, Purple, & Green Bells, Carmen, Lipstick, Mellow Star, Habanero, Ahi Dulche
-Okra: Burgundy, Clemson Spineless, Burmese, Star of David
-Kale: Winterbor, Red Russian
-Radishes: Easter Egg, French Breakfast
-Summer Squash!: Zephyr
-Braising Mix (Champion Collards, Golden Frill Mustards, Purple & Green Mizuna, Astro Arugula)

Last Week of September CSA!
Can you believe it? Four weeks have come and gone. Thanks for joining us and partaking of the late Fall bounty. Pepper and eggplant abundance, the return of kale, steady streams of arugula. Still want more? Then come on back for the rest of Fall!!

Now Accepting Members! October-November CSA
Details: 7 weeks of VEGGIES: Expect lots of greens like kale, arugula, mizuna, and chard. Roots like turnips, radishes, beets, and carrots. Late summer veggies like peppers, tomatoes, okra, and summer squash, and pole beans. Lettuce and broccoli should also be appearing, as well as garlic and sweet potatoes. Basil, dill, cilantro, mint, and rosemary will also be available.

One share size of 1/2 bushel (half share), 2 pickup options:

-Tuesday On-Farm Pickups: $16/week = $112 total
-Friday In-Town Pickups: $18/week = $126 total

(Fridays are slightly more expensive because the processing, packaging, and delivery of share boxes cost us a bit more.)

Full payment is due upon checkout. Payment by cash or check gets a 3% discount! Questions? Email us at or check out the website

Click here to sign up today. Pickups begin October 4th!

On the Farm . . .
We’re continuing the sweet potato treasure hunt. We’ve got a greenhouse full of taters curing in the warm dark, and the last row is ready to dig. We’ve also been transplanting lettuce, and we’re expecting another round to be ready to go in next week. Plus STRAWBERRIES. No, not the berries themselves, but the plants. We transplant the plants in the Fall and overwinter them to get an early jump on strawberry harvests in the Spring. We’ve got about 2,000 plugs coming in this week, so I foresee some serious transplanting coming soon. And speaking of planting, GARLIC planting is right around the corner. Need seed garlic that’s locally grown and acclimated to Georgia? We’re offering some for sale on Athens Locally Grown (or just email us and ask about it). So yeah. October is a busy month on the farm -- so much to plant! So much to harvest! Thank goodness we get such nice weather for it all.

Braising Mix
There’s braising mix in your baskets this week. What is braising mix? Any number of greens can be included, such as kale, collards, chard, broccoli greens, mustards, tat soi, mizuna, arugula, and more! Basically, a braising mix is just a mix of various greens that are more suited for COOKING than eating raw. Braising is a technique of basically browning your ingredients at high heat first, then adding liquid and simmering them until they’re done. Our mix this week has some spicy stuff like mustard greens and arugula, as well as milder ingredients like mizuna and collards. Enjoy!

Braised Greens Tacos
1 12 ounce bunch Swiss chard, washed (or collard greens, kale, etc.)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large white or red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth, or water
12 corn tortillas, warmed with a bit of water in a kitchen towel in the microwave
1 cup crumbled queso fresco (or feta, or goat cheese)
A large handful (6-10) cherry tomatoes
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
(Alternatively, a store-bought salsa or hot sauce will work)

Heat the oil in a large (12 inch) skillet over medium high, add the onion and cook until golden but still a bit crunchy, 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the greens crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Add the garlic and chili flakes to the onion and cook for an additional minute, then add the broth or water, a large pinch of salt, and the greens. Reduce heat to low and braise, covered, for about 5 minutes or until the greens are nearing tender, but not quite finished. Meanwhile, put the cherry tomatoes into a dry skillet over medium-high heat until blistered, transfer to a small food processor with the chipotle pepper and a large pinch of salt, and blend until smooth. Remove the cover from the greens and cook off the moisture until it is nearly dry. Season with salt if necessary. Fill each taco—two tortillas thick—with a tongful of the greens, a spoonful of salsa, and the queso fresco. From

Simple Braised Greens with Garlic
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bunches fresh summer greens, about 8 cups, washed and coarsely chopped. This could include a mixture of Asian greens, or mustard, collards, turnip greens, beet greens, kale – any toothy substantial green will do.
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 cup water or vegetable broth
Salt to taste
Optional flavorings: Sesame oil, ume plum vinegar, tamari
Optional toppings: sesame seeds, chopped almonds or walnuts, toasted pumpkin seeds

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add greens and garlic, stirring to coat with oil. Stir occasionally until greens are barely wilted, just a few minutes. Add vegetable broth or water and stir, allowing greens to steam until barely tender. Salt to taste. Add flavorings and toppings as desired and serve. Makes 4 servings. From

Sweet Potatoes, Apples, and Braising Greens
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons melted
1 Tbsp fine sea salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 medium baking apples, peeled, cored, and cut into quarters
6 cups loosely packed braising greens (kale, chard, collards), stems removed, torn into 2-inch strips
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F. On foil-lined baking sheet, toss potato slices with 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake until cooked through and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Keep warm. In heavy medium skillet over moderate heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add apples and sauté until tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Keep warm. In heavy large pot over moderate heat, combine remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons water. Add greens and sauté, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to moderately low and add sweet potatoes and apples. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Makes 10 servings. Serve hot. From

Braised Mixed Greens
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for finishing
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, 1 slivered, 1 halved
1 lb greens, such as chard, broccoli rabe, spinach, kale, washed and chopped
A handful of chopped cilantro and parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups cooked beans (borlotti, cannelloni, etc), home cooked or canned
3 to 4 slices chewy country bread
Shaved parmesan or crumbled gorgonzola

Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch over. Add the onion and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the onion starts to soften a bit, after 3 or 4 minutes, add the slivered garlic. Cook for a minute more, then add the greens and any herbs. Season with ½ teaspoon salt. As the greens cook down, turn them in the pan to bring the ones on top closer to the heat. Once they've all collapsed, add ½ cup water or bean broth, lower the heat and cook, partially covered, until tender. Depending on the greens, it may take as long as 20 minutes . Just make sure there is some liquid in the pan for sauce. When the greens are done, add the beans, heat them through, then taste for salt and season with pepper. Toast the bread and rub it with the halved garlic. Arrange on plates and spoon on the greens and beans. Drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with the cheese, if using, and serve. Makes 3-4 servings. From

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 3 -- Mizuna

Roots Farm CSA Week 3: September 20 & 23

This Week:
-Tomatoes: Arkansas Traveller, Pink Beauty, Sunny Goliath, Whopper, Big Beef, Trust, Sungold cherry
-Eggplant: Nadia, Nubia, Pingtung Long
-Peppers: Carmen (sweet red bullhorn), Green Bells, Mellow Star, Habanero, Ahi Dulche
-Okra: Burgundy, Clemson Spineless, Burmese, Star of David
-Kale: Winterbor, Red Russian
-Radishes: Easter Egg, French Breakfast
-Turnips: Hakurei
-Summer Squash!: Zephyr
-Basil or Mint

On the Farm . . .
Last week we transplanted, this week, we dig. Yep, it’s sweet potato digging time. We’ve got over 300 feet of them to turn up, and it’s all done by hand. Shovels and digging forks, here we come. The rows inside our fence look great! Potatoes almost bursting forth from the ground, blanketed in waterfalls of purple-blooming sweet potato vines (they’re related to morning glories, so imagine lavender morning glory flowers). It’s beautiful and we’re excited to see what sort of buried treasure we unearth. . .

In Your Basket
This week, more of Fall’s bounty is appearing. We’ve got arugula again, as well as mizuna this time. What’s mizuna? It’s our featured veggie this week, so I’ll tell you more about it in a minute. Radishes are back, as well as some Hakurei turnips (my favorite sweet white Japanese salad turnips). Tomatoes are seriously slowing down, so enjoy them while they last. Peppers are still producing, and so are eggplant. And new to the scene . . . SUMMER SQUASH! That’s right, folks! Our late summer plantings are now beginning to produce and the buttery, delicious, bi-colored zephyrs are back in stock. Yum! Enjoy!

Fall Equinox
The Fall Equinox is this week on September 22/23 (at midnight on the 22, I think). That means that day and night are equal. It’s the balance point between summer and winter, when the days begin to get shorter leading towards the Winter Solstice in December when we have our shortest day. I just learned that on the equinox, the sun rises due East and sets due West, so it’s a good day to get your bearings around your home or favorite outdoor sit spot. After the equinox, the sun will rise in the Southeastern sky for the rest of winter. Hmmm. . . interesting. Google “Fall Equinox” and learn lots of interesting things about this time of year!

Mizuna, scientific name, Brassica rapa nipponosica, is a cool season Japanese mustard green that has long, broad, serrated, and deeply cut satin finished leaves. Though it has been primarily cultivated in Japan, mizuna is native to China. There are at least sixteen known varieties of mizuna, differing in textures, colors and flavor profiles. In America, mizuna is considered a specialty green and thus, has limited commercial exposure outside of Asian markets and farmers markets. Mizuna's flavors can be characterized as piquant and bright with a subtle earthiness. Toss peppery mizuna leaves in stir-fries the last minute of cooking. Mature mizuna makes a perfect substitute for chard or kale. Store these greens in a closed plastic bag, and for optimum flavor and texture, use within three to five days.

Soba Noodle Salad with Mizuna
2 cups Mizuna leaves, washed, stemmed, and chopped
2 carrots, cut into diagonal slices
4 thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
½ cup of thinly sliced radishes
2 cups of cooked Soba noodles
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 clove minced garlic
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Combine Mizuna, carrots, scallions and noodles in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine garlic, ginger, oil, and soy sauce. Whisk together and pour over noodles. Top with sesame seeds and enjoy!! Makes 3 servings. From

Wok Sauteed Mizuna & Portabella Mushrooms
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
3 Tbs soy sauce, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp canola or peanut oil
1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
½ cup chopped water chestnuts
1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini or yellow squash (or a combo of both)
1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
1 Tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup sliced swiss chard
½ lb mizuna, trimmed (I used micro- mizuna)
¼ cup unsalted peanuts
¼ cup finely chopped green onions

In a medium bowl, mix egg white with 1 Tbsp. of the soy sauce and garlic. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Heat 1 tsp. of the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add egg white mixture and cook, stirring constantly, 4 to 6 minutes, transfer to a plate; set aside. Heat remaining 1 tsp. of oil in the pan. Add carrots, onions, water chestnuts, squash and mushrooms, and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add remaining soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, swiss chard and mizuna and cook, stirring often, until slightly wilted. Return egg white mixture to pan and toss well. Garnish with peanuts & green onions and serve- either alone or on top of brown rice. Makes 6 servings. Adapted from

Mizuna with Potatoes and Shallot Vinaigrette
3/8 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut in irregular bite-size chunks
Sea salt
6 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 large shallot, slivered
4 oz mizuna, rinsed and dried
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
1 tsp freshly crushed black peppercorns

Place potatoes in a saucepan with cold water to cover. Season water liberally with salt. Bring to a simmer, cook just until potatoes are tender, 6 to 8 minutes, then drain. When potatoes stop steaming, transfer them to a wide bowl. Combine oil, vinegar and salt to taste, and drizzle about one-third of this dressing over potatoes. Add shallot. Fold together with a rubber spatula. Dressing will pick up creaminess from potatoes. Set aside. Place mustard greens or mizuna in a second wide bowl suitable for serving. Toss with half of the remaining dressing. Add potato mixture, and fold in gently. Halve eggs lengthwise, then cut in crosswise slices 1/8-inch thick. Scatter over salad, add remaining dressing, and fold once or twice very gently. Dust with crushed pepper, and serve. Makes 4 servings. From

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 2 -- Radishes

Roots Farm CSA Week 2: September 13 & 16

This Week:
-Tomatoes: Arkansas Traveller, Pink Beauty, Sunny Goliath, Whopper, Big Beef, Trust
-Eggplant: Nadia, Nubia, Pingtung Long
-Peppers: Carmen (sweet red bullhorn), Green Bells, Mellow Star, Habanero, Ahi Dulche
-Okra: Burgundy, Clemson Spineless, Burmese, Star of David
-Kale!: Winterbor, Red Russian
-Radishes: Easter Egg, French Breakfast

On the Farm . . .
We’re planting up a storm. Beets and radishes and turnips and arugula went in already this week, and we just got another round of transplants--chard and head lettuce--that we’ll be installing in the next couple of days. Seeding, weeding, transplanting, oh my! Thankfully, we’ve got some sweet fall weather to do it in.

In Your Basket
It’s so exciting! Kale is back! I know some of you may be thinking, really? Already? But the answer is yes. Kale and more kale. It’s so tender this time of year; the stems just snap apart at the slightest pressure. Those young, delicate, Fall kale leaves are always so amazing to me, and delicious! Hope you enjoy them. So yeah, we’re picking kale again. See ya later summertime. And radishes are on the scene this week! Beautiful Easter Egg radishes (multi-colored) and delicate, pink & white bi-colored French Breakfast radishes are all coming in this week. We’ve also got some braising mix coming along and more arugula, as always. We also have some Fall plantings of summer squash, cucumbers, and pole beans that are looking lovely. The summer squash may even be available next week or so. Yippee!

Raphanus sativus The descriptive Greek name of the genus Raphanus means "quickly appearing" and refers to the rapid germination of these plants. The common name "radish" is derived from Latin (Radix = root). Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium. Citizens of Oaxaca, Mexico, celebrate the radish in a festival called Noche de los Rábanos (Night of the Radishes) on December 23 as a part of Christmas La Navidad celebrations. Locals carve religious and popular figures out of radishes and display them in the town square.

Storage: separate roots from greens and store separately in plastic bags. The greens should be used within 2-3 days, the roots within 2 weeks. Usage: radishes are good both raw and cooked. Radish greens are also edible; they have a spicy-peppery bite like mustard or turnip greens and generally need to be cooked. Radish roots are good raw in salads, on sandwiches, and in my favorite--spring rolls! You can also use radish roots in making kimchee if you like brewing your own ferments (I do!). Cooked, you can roast them, sautee them, deep fry them, and more; cooking mellows the spicy flavor. You can also substitute them for potatoes in some dishes. Don’t be afraid to apply heat to these pretty roots and don’t be afraid to experiment. Enjoy!

Radish & Cucumber Salad with Tofu
1/2 lb firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1/2 tsp sugar
fresh ground black pepper
8 radishes, thinly sliced
2 cucumbers, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch slices
toasted sesame oil (optional)
toasted sesame seeds (optional)
grated fresh ginger (optional)

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the tofu cubes; boil for 1 minute. Transfer the cubes to a clean dish towel to drain and cool. Stir the rice vinegar, oil, and tamari or soy sauce in a small bowl. Stir in the sugar and pepper to taste. Whisk until well combined. Transfer the cooled tofu cubes to a serving bowl. Add the radish slices and cucumber; briefly toss. Add the dressing; toss again until the salad is thoroughly combined. Makes 4 servings.

Tender cubes of cold, barely cooked tofu are a wonderful treat in this salad. They provide a satisfying, soft complement to the crispy vegetables--similar to cubes of mild cheese. As for taste, with nippy radish slices and a delicious salty-sweet dressing, this salad has flavor to spare. Try adding a few drops of toasted (dark) sesame oil or tossing in some toasted sesame seeds for a deeper, more "authentically Asian" note. Ginger fans will enjoy a grating of fresh ginger in the dressing. From Farmer John's Cookbook.

Confetti of Radishes and Carrots
3-5 radishes
4-6 carrots
8 oz feta cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt & pepper to taste

Shred radishes and carrots (with a grater or food processor). Toss with remaining ingredients. Chill & serve. Makes 8 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Beet & Daikon Slaw
1 yellow beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks (julienne)
1 red beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks (julienne)
1 6-inch daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks (julienne)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp unsalted rice vinegar
1 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, cover, and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Season to taste and serve. Makes 2 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Sauteed Radishes with Radish Greens and/or Arugula
1/4 c. butter
1 lb radishes
4 c. radish greens or arugula
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (1 small lemon)
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Radish greens and arugula both have a peppery bitterness that mellows slightly when they are cooked. You can use either radish greens or arugula, or both, for this recipe.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the radishes; cook, stirring constantly, until tender but still crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cook. Return skillet to stove. Put the green or arugula in the skillet with the wash water still clinging to the leaves. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until wilting, 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat. Add lemon juice and radishes to the skillet; stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Radish Top Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
2 medium potatoes, sliced
4 cups raw radish greens
4 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
5 radishes, sliced

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and saute until tender. Mix in the potatoes and radish greens, coating them with the butter. Pour in vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Allow the soup mixture to cool slightly, and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Mix in the heavy cream. Cook and stir until well blended. Serve with radish slices. Makes 6 servings. From (

Roasted Radishes with Soy Sauce and Toasted Sesame Seeds
20 medium radishes, trimmed and cut into fourths (use all red, or a mixture of red and white)
1 1/2 Tbsp roasted peanut oil
1-2 Tbsp soy sauce (I used about 1 1/2 T)
2 green onions (scallions) sliced thin
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan

Preheat oven to 425 F. Wash radishes, trim ends, peel if needed, and cut into same size pieces. I cut the white icicle radishes into diagonal pieces, and the red ones into half or fourths, depending on how big they were. Cut green onions into thin slices. Toss radishes with peanut oil, then roast about 20 minutes, stirring one or two times. When radishes are tender and starting to brown, remove from oven, toss with soy sauce to coat and mix in green onion slices. Put back in oven and roast about 5 minutes more. During final five minutes roasting time, put the sesame seed in a dry pan and toast over hot stove for about 2 minutes, or until starting to brown. Remove radishes from oven, place in serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot. Makes 3-4 servings, recipe only slightly adapted from Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 1 -- Arugula

Roots Farm CSA Week 1: September 6 & 9

This Week:
-Tomatoes!: Arkansas Traveller, Pink Beauty, Sunny Goliath, Whopper, Big Beef, Trust
-Eggplant!: Nadia, Nubia, Pingtung Long
-Peppers: Carmen (sweet red bullhorn), Red Bells, Golden Bells, Mellow Star, Habanero, Ahi Dulche
-Red Noodle Beans or Pontiac Red Potatoes
-Okra: Burgundy, Clemson Spineless, Burmese, Star of David

Welcome to the First Week of Fall CSA!
And welcome to the official Roots Farm newsletter and blog! Each week, we’ll tell you what’s been happening around the farm, let you know about events, and feature a veggie of the week with recipes to feed your culinary imagination. All of it right here! Yay! Reminders: pickups are from 4-7pm Tuesdays or Fridays. If you’re going to miss your pickup, we need to know IN ADVANCE. Please. If you miss pickups, your share tends to get re-absorbed into the farm and is generally not just sitting patiently in the cooler, waiting for you to remember it. Help us get you your veggies. Given advance notice, we can usually find a way to meet your needs. And hey, if you’ve got an iPhone, just set your alarm to go off and remind you each week to come and get ‘em. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, beans, basil, and arugula, oh my!

On the Farm . . .
We’ve officially shifted gears and we’re moving quickly into our Fall tasks here on the farm. We’re seeding things like lettuce, braising mix, radishes, turnips, arugula, carrots, and beets. We’ll soon be transplanting chard and head lettuce. The broccoli and kale and cabbage is growing strong and we’ll be able to pick our first fall kale within a week! Now we’re doing much bed preparation, seeding, transplanting, and weeding. The cycle begins again. At the same time, we’re still picking our summer veggies, taking out old trellises, and preparing to dig sweet potatoes. Lots to do on the farm in early Fall. And at least today, there was some really good weather to do it in.

Weekend Workday . . .
Is taking the month off. Check back in with us in October.

Our veggie of the week is arugula! Yay! Arugula is a tender, leafy vegetable often used raw in salads. It’s got a spicy-peanutty sort of flavor that intensifies in the heat of summer and as the leaves mature. The spice can be tamed with a little cooking, and arugula teams well with other veggies in a saute, on pizza, and in a braising mix. Arugula tends to be a love it or hate it kind of food, and I have to admit that I used to be in the hate-it group, but I’m here to tell you that, given the right conditions, it can be downright delicious! I like tender, young arugula in a salad with other lettuces, or even in a salad of its own with some balsamic vinegar and tomatoes. If you don’t like it yet, don’t give up hope. There may be an arugula manifestation out there that suits your fancy. Storage: in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Arugula & Pear Salad
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
2 firm red Bartlett pears
5 c. butterhead lettuce (Bibb or Boston) washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
4 c. arugula, trimmed, washed and dried
2 Tbsp minced onion
3 Tbsp vegetable broth
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt & fresh ground pepper

To prepare salad, toast walnuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Just before serving, cut pears into 16 slices each. Place in a large bowl. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and spoon 1 tablespoon of the dressing onto the pears and toss to coat. Add lettuce, arugula and the remaining dressing; toss well. Top with walnuts. Makes 8 servings. (from the Seasonal Chef website)

Roasted Sweet Potato and Rocket Salad
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and ground black pepper to taste
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
1 clove garlic
1 shallot
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 dash hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco®)
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnut oil
1/2 pound baby arugula leaves
1 (2 inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Whisk the 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper together in a bowl; toss the sweet potato wedges with the olive oil to coat. Place the bell pepper halves with their cut-sides down onto a baking sheet; arrange the sweet potato wedges around the peppers. Roast in the preheated oven until the potatoes are slightly charred and crispy and the the bell pepper skin is blistered, about 45 minutes. Shake the pan once mid-way through the cooking time to keep the mixture from sticking to the pan. Set the potato wedges aside to cool. Place the pepper halves into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; allow to sweat until cool, about 20 minutes. Peel the skin from the peppers and discard. Mince the garlic and shallot together in a food processor. Add the peeled peppers, lemon juice, mustard, hot sauce, salt, and pepper; puree until smooth. Slowly stream the 1/2 cup olive oil and the walnut oil into the mixture as it blends. Transfer to a large bowl; add the arugula leaves and toss to coat. Divide the potato wedges between 4 salad plates; top the wedges with equal amounts of the dressed arugula leaves. Shave the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the salads to serve. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings. From

Spinach Fettuccine with Arugula and Tomatoes
1 lb spinach fettuccine
4 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra virgin to finish
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 small dried red chiles, broken in half, or several pinches of red pepper flakes
6 or more cups mature arugula leaves, large stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
4 Roma tomatoes
3 Tbsp chopped parsely
freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese

Drop the pasta into plenty of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet, add the garlic and chile, and cook over medium heat until the garlic turns light gold. Add the arugula, season with a few pinches of salt, and saute until wilted. Stir in the tomatoes and parsley and turn off the heat. When the pasta is done, scoop it out and add it directly to the pan. Toss well and serve with a dusting of cheese and extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top. Makes 4-6 servings. From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Note: as they mature, arugula leaves get large, hot and spicy. They’re too robust for salads, but when cooked, their pungency softens, leaving just enough to add zest to the pasta. Enjoy!

Arugula Pesto
4-5 Cups packed arugula
3 med-large cloves of garlic
1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp cold pressed olive oil

In a food processor, grind garlic and walnuts into a fine paste. Add arugula and pulse to chop finely. Add salt and nutritional yeast. Blend well. With processor running, add 1/4 cup olive oil. Transfer mixture to plastic or glass container and press to remove air bubbles. Cover with 2 Tbs olive oil and refrigerate.

This is a raw vegan recipe. The nutritional yeast can be substituted with romano or parmesan cheese and you can toast the walnuts before adding, if desired. You could also make this with pine nuts. This is a very flexible recipe that can be tailored to what you have on hand. This is a thick "stock" pesto. If using with pasta, bruschetta, veggies, gnocchi, or whatever you desire, add a bit more olive oil and/or some (pasta) water to thin and coat the pasta, etc. (Thanks Jen!)

Arugula and Red Pepper Pesto
1/2 lb. arugula
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 roasted red peppers
1 cup toasted piñon nuts (or other nuts will do)
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 cup olive oil

Blend everything together in a food processor, stopping to scrape sides and processing again. We like the pesto rich, salty and oily. A few cloves of sweet roasted garlic are a nice addition. As a note: older arugula can be bitter, so this pesto can be cut with fresh spinach for milder flavor is your arugula is mature. Serving suggestions: spread on pizza crust, and top with cheese & veggies; toss with hot pasta (ziti is a particularly good vehicle); add to sour cream for a dip. You can also freeze the pesto in greased ice cube trays for easy-access portions. Recipe compliments of the Seasonal Chef (