Wilted Arugula Salad with Pears and Cheese

Photo from  The Kitchn, an online daily.

Sally tells me that the October 1, 2013 farm share will include Greenstar Arugula (larger leaves), bok choy, sweet peppers, salad turnips, cinnamon basil and beets with greens.

The cinnamon basil (also known as Vietnamese basil, Saigon basil or húng quế) contains cinnamate, the same chemical that gives cinnamon its flavor.  It's good  in hot drinks and with fruits or used in Asian soups, salads and stir fried dishes. 

Arugula is a dark green with a spiky leaf and a peppery mustard flavor.  It's traditionally found in Mediterranean cuisine.  Younger, smaller arugula leaves are milder and less bitter. The larger leaves are better wilted and served with and acid and  cheese to cut the sharpness. If they are too strong for your taste you can combine with other milder greens. It's good served with a variety of fruits and berries or with roasted beets.

Other names include Rockette, Rocket, Gargeer,  Roka, Roquette, Rucola and Rugula, 

Serves 4

8 large handfuls of arugula rinsed in cold water and patted or spun dry (about 1 1/2 #)
4 fresh garlic cloves thinly sliced 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
2  ripe pears
4 ounces of soft blue cheese (shown) or feta or chèvre or shaved Asiago, if you prefer

Heat oil a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add arugula; cook, stirring constantly, until slightly wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add vinegar; cook, stirring constantly, until most of the vinegar has evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in salt; season with pepper. Serve immediately. Arrange on four plates. Slice the pear thinly and lay over the arugula, then crumble the cheese over.

If you'd like, before wilting the arugula you can also saute one red pepper seeded and  cut in strips. For a main course, you can also toss in 2 cups of cooked garbanzo or navy beans or 1/2 cup of pecans, walnuts or sliced almonds.