Perennial arugula (aka sylvetta, and for the plant geeks out there (and you know who you are), Diplotaxis tenuifolia). An assertive, dependable plant. It grows well in our garden and gives us lots of spicy leaves all summer long. It's flowering right now, which makes its flavor extra strong. I was outside in the garden last night and my husband came over to say something to me. He opened his mouth and I was blown back by pungent arugula breath. This plant is not for the faint of heart!
Does anyone else think arugula tastes a little skunky? I hate the smell of skunks, but love arugula. Go figure.
So, we have lots of this plant and I'm thinking about good ways to use it. I could make a pesto with walnuts, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. I bet the pesto would be good on some sourdough bread. The arugula could also be really good on a homemade pizza. Top the pizza with some olive oil, cheese of choice, maybe some tomato slices and some anchovies. Mmmm.... How about sauteed in some olive oil and garlic and served on a bowl of pasta with some sausage? It seems like starch of some sort is a good idea to mellow out the spiciness.
We sold out of perennial arugula at our booth this past weekend at the Northeast Permaculture Convergence. I'm glad our baby plants are going off to good homes. I wonder how other people are going to cook with this plant. What are your ideas?