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elbanditoroso's avatar

What's the arugula attraction?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28635points) March 22nd, 2012

Am I missing something? Friends are telling me that arugula is the best green out there, and that I should move from spinach and appreciate arugula more.

I’ve tried it and it tastes wimpy and boring. Is there something to arugula, or am I just hopefully out of touch with contemporary eating habits?

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26 Answers

picante's avatar

I don’t think my palate is sophisticated enough to appreciate “designer” greens. But, your green of note is arugula-bly the best ;-)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Try it in a mix of greens or just try some of the other greens until you find one you like. It’s got a little peppery zip to it and it’s not for everyone. Or if you like spinach stay with that. How are you preparing it? @picante That was really bad.:)

Buttonstc's avatar

I done get it either. As far as I know it doesn’t offer any health benefits over Spinach so I stick with what tastes good to me. If I’m served Arugula as part of a salad when I’m eating out but I certainly done buy it for my own use. just because its a fad now means little to me.

The first time I had duck breast made in that extremely rare style thats all the rage, I hated it. Just give me a good old fashioned Peking duck from a good Asian restaurant and I’m a happy camper.

Eat what you enjoy and don’t feel you have to be a slave to food fads. I done like truffles either and caviar is way too salty for me. Total waste of money to me.

geeky_mama's avatar

à chacun son goût -

I LOVE Arugula. Had a salad of it (with candied nuts, goat cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette) at a hotel in Toronto about a year ago – and since then it’s become my green salad of choice.

It does have a particular taste – so if you don’t like it, I’m sure you’re not alone. I like stronger flavors and grew up in Asia where leaves like shiso are eaten to cleanse the palate and that has a lot stronger flavor.. so, maybe that’s why I like Arugula so much more than other leafy greens..

I look for really fresh arugula and eat it completely as-is – no dressing, no other veggies – just a big bowl of arugula..and I eat it nearly every day, usually 2 meals a day. :)

janbb's avatar

It doesn’t do much for me either; I find it kind of bitter. (By the way, The Arugula Attraction sounds like a thriller by Robert Ludlum.)

GoldieAV16's avatar

The attraction is to something “new.” Chefs are always looking for something to plate that people have not tried before. Before arugula it was field greens, and before that endive and radicchio.

Want to be ahead of the curve on trendy greens? Two words for you:

Baby kale.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@janbb – it caught your eye….

elbanditoroso's avatar

@GoldieAV16 – isn’t there some danger that Kale Defense League will come around and demonstrate against the use of baby kale? Something about not letting kale grow to its full potential as a green?

You know, sort of like PETA and the anti-choice lobby?

Trillian's avatar

Sound marketing tactics. Appealing to people’s pretentiousness works. Remember ciabatta bread? Artisan bread? I actually overheard a woman telling someone that she could only eat turkey on ciabatta bread. I don’t remember which fast food restaurant popularized it on their sandwiched, but it hadn’t been advertised for a year yet when I heard that statement. Can you say; “Baaa-aaa-aaa-aaa” ?

GoldieAV16's avatar

@elbanditoroso I think as long as they’re not clubbing it to death, we’re okay.

wundayatta's avatar

All these greens have been around for ages. What about dandelion and mustard greens? Nothing new under the sun.

If Arugula is suddenly being marketed in your area, I have no idea why that would be. I’d suspect it’s more an issue of perceptual vigilance. Arugula has been around, but you’ve suddenly noticed it and now it seems everywhere.

Greens can be interesting. I like the spicy ones. I like Arugula, which tastes buttery to me. Maybe a little peppery, but not much. I am not a fan of endive. Too bitter. But other than that, I like most of them, including baby kale.

gailcalled's avatar

Add me to the list of arugula lover. I never met an edible green that I didn’t crave.

Arugula, sliced cooked beets, chopped walnuts, watercress and a mustard vinaigrette is what I consider a treat.

I pick dandelion greens when they are young and tender (about now during this odd spring) and add them to salads and soups.

There is also the lovely blushing radicchio.

marinelife's avatar

I love arugula. Try it in a fritatta. I love its spicy, peppery taste.

Sunny2's avatar

I developed a distaste for it when it was served daily on a trip to Italy. I find it very bitter and bitter and I don’t get along.

gailcalled's avatar

@Sunny2: Is bitter and bitter more bitter than just plain bitter?

JustPlainBarb's avatar

I think it’s mostly just the “in” green to eat now. This stuff goes in cycles .

Smashley's avatar

Well, spinach is boring, so your friends are at least right on that account.

What you really should be doing is enjoying all of the delicious greens that are coming into season now. Arugula is fashionable (and delicious), but don’t overdo it. The best way to enjoy greens is to eat what’s freshest and locally available at any time of year, and to mix it up. (If you find arugula boring, you are probably eating something less than in season.)

Greens are good, and nutrient packed, and will generally make you live for like 500 years if you eat them, but it’s easy to burn out on them. Your friends’ contempt for spinach has more to do with it’s ubiquity than anything. Everyone knows that greens are good for you, but the selections available in most grocery stores and restaurants are limited, and what they do have tends to be extremely bland.

Farmers markets and CSAs are good sources the best and freshest greens. Try an organic farmer’s spring mix (in the spring) with a simple vinaigrette and bask the glory of the season, trying each different green in turn. Arugula is great, but so is mizuna and young red chard. In the winter, just accept that you’re going to be without the leafy delicious, and get excited when it comes back in the spring

Anyone who says that arugula is the best green is really saying “I don’t eat enough greens.” Eat healthy, mix it up, and keep it fresh!

deni's avatar

I hate it! You are not alone!

zenvelo's avatar

Arugula is not trendy, it is sooo 1980s. But it is great mixed with other greens in a salad, because it presents a counterpoint taste to the other greens. So does kale, which really is the hot new trendy green that is pooping popping up everywhere.

Ponderer983's avatar

Arugula – trendy? I’ve been eating it all my life since I have been eating salads. It has a pepper twang to it and can be bitter, but I like it muy mucho. If you like spinach, eat spinach. If you like iceberg eat that. In the grand scheme of your diet, lettuce should be the least of your worries. Worry about the proteins you are eating and other veggies.

GoldieAV16's avatar

Don’t forget Mâche!

rooeytoo's avatar

It is a pretty one, I like the way it looks but I prefer the taste of rocket. My favorite is plain old iceberg cut into chunks with all the other pretty greens tossed on top, along with tomatoes, etc. topped with a good vinegarette.

Sunny2's avatar

@gailcalled I should have punctuated better. I find it bitter. Bitter and I don’t get along. Bitter tastes set my teeth on edge.

tedibear's avatar

Chalk me up as another person who doesn’t like arugula. I’ll eat it if it’s in a salad mix, but I don’t like it by itself. Give me spinach or romaine lettuce any day.

dabbler's avatar

I like the bitter taste, but usually it ought to be served up with other greens like in a mesclun mix.
Add some toasted pine nuts and a bit of goat cheese, Yummy !

And I’ll agree with @janbb “The Arugula Attraction sounds like a thriller by Robert Ludlum!”

Kardamom's avatar

I like just about every green I have ever tasted. Some are more sweet, some are more buttery, some are nutty and some have a slightly bitter astringent flavor, like arugula.

I like arugula in a panini with fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes. I also like it, along with some of the other baby greens added raw on top of a woofired pizza right from the oven. They sometimes call that a salad pizza, it’s refreshingly different. Arugula also pairs well with beans, especially white beans like canellini beans either in a salad or in soup.

You don’t have to stop eating spinach, but broaden your horizons a bit and try out arugula in different ways (and try other greens too like kale and mustard greens and swiss chard).

This sounds really good Open Faced Sandwich with Ricotta, Arugula and a Fried Egg

Or how about Arugula and White Bean Dip to spread on crackers.

And here’s a little twist on pesto with Arugula Walnut Pesto

And here’s a recipe that calls for a variety of greens Wild Sautéed Greens

This Minestrone Soup features arugula as an ingredient.

And something super savory lke Wild Mushroom Soup with Arugula and Crispy Serrano Ham

It may not be easy being green, but it can be a whole lotta tasty : )

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