I am not normally a person who finds fault with everything. I usually “go with the flow” and take things as they come. I do not want to offend anyone who loves arugula. and I am definitely not criticizing those who eat it freely. That said, I am at a loss concerning eating arugula.
The other night I ordered a salad that I had previously enjoyed. It was made with lettuce, strawberries, sugar glazed pecan bits, some kind of delicious white cheese clumps and steak or chicken. As I looked at the salad’s ingredients on the menu I saw its contents and noted that it would have arugula in it. Okay, I am open to try other vegetables. I have eaten some arugula mixed in with lettuce and ate without complaint.
So I ordered the above salad and was shocked at seeing lots of little tiny leaves on long, uncut stems all in a jumbled mass of green with the special ingredients I loved lurking under and in the midst of the tangled mass of arugula with little if any lettuce!
I’ve always enjoyed salads with iceberg lettuce. The leaves are often not cut; are easily eaten as they are; or chopped or torn. The lettuce has a fresh green appearance with a light crunchiness. You can put it on your sandwiches and it adds body and variety to the sandwich’s taste. Or you can just pop a leaf in your mouth.
You can put lettuce with or without tomato on a sandwich. It can have a wide variety of other vegetables or fruit added to it to supplement the vitamins. Lettuce can, to some degree, help keep the other sandwich ingredients from sliding out of the sandwich. You can eat a salad with just lettuce and salad dressing and have an enjoyable dish.
But what can you do with arugula? As I attempted to eat the large salad with mostly arugula I was amazed at the number of stems from this plant that far outnumbered the leaves. So how do you eat arugula? You haven’t got all day to cut up the stems in that huge portion.
Do you twist the stems on your fork like spaghetti? Do you attack 1-2-3 or more stems at the same time? Do you line them up and cut 4 at a time? What is the secret to consuming this strange straggly vegetable? Is the nutrition in the leaves or the stems?
Or do you just stab at the tangled mass of edible stems and shove it in your mouth indecorously with a few stems hanging from your mouth as you try to have a decent fork load. Or do you pick out stems and eat them two or three at a time?
Well I did some research so I would understand, “Why Arugula?” Arugula can be enjoyed alone with olive oil or used as part of a salad with other lettuces. It has a peppery, nutty taste that some enjoy. It is rich in Vitamins A and C which are good for your eyes as well as your body. As I continued to read about arugula my respect for it grew. Arugula is more loaded with protein than other leafy salad ingredients like lettuce. Who would have thought it?
Okay I get it, arugula is really good for you. But it is still a mess to eat especially when you love the sugar coated pecan fragments that hide in the tangled mass of stems of the arugula! I would love to see a movie of someone trying to eat their arugula salad with decorum, (if it is possible to do that). I certainly would not want to eat an arugula salad at a fancy party or restaurant, that’s for sure!
Next time I see arugula in a salad I will ask for a mix of lettuce and arugula, with more lettuce than arugula. Maybe somehow I can coral a few stems of arugula onto a leafy portion of regular lettuce and contain them to make eating it less awkward.
How do you eat your arugula?