Saturday, October 25, 2008

Arugula Unadulterated

When it comes to certain things, I am a purist. I don't like flavored coffee (just give me some good Guatemalan, por favor), I prefer the traditional basil pesto, and I don't want anything messing with my arugula.

I visited Wine + Market on the corner of West Second and Jefferson the other day, and couldn't resist the arugula. I know it's late in the season and the best arugula is earlier in the spring, but a craving is a craving. He did have lots of other tempting things, and I must share a few photographs of the loveliness:

I love the leafy bitterness and peppery zip arugula gives to mixed greens. But a huge salad of just arugula is a luxury. I mean, if diamonds are really your favorite stone, why mix them up with emeralds?

I usually toss salads (making the dressing and all) right in the bowl, just before service. This time I tried to measure the few ingredients for this very simple recipe:

One large handful of arugula
One Tablespoon good olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
a drizzle of aged, syrupy balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

A big mixing bowl and some good tongs are important. Place the augula in the bowl and drizzle the oil over it. Mix well with tongs. Add red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and mix well again. Then drizzle the yummy aged balsamic vinegar over, and mix one last time. The touch of sweetness will round out the bitter greens, while the red wine vinegar adds a zip that compliments the oil. Perfection. And simplicity.

(I know there are those out there who will add pine nuts, shaved Parmesan, olives, dried cranberries, and who knows what else. I've had a little talk with myself, and I'm okay with that.)

Plate and enjoy!
P. S. I used the wonderful vinegar from Oliva Bella on Broadway.


Scott Neal said...
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Scott Neal said...

Great salad. Would have been better if followed by a medium rare filet mignon with a good glass of red.