Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Arugula or rocket, as it is sometimes called, is a spicy, peppery green used in salads.  It is generally eaten fresh, but some recipes call for it to be slightly wilted.  It is a green that few people ask for at market, however I do have several people who come faithfully each week for their arugula.  The taste reminds me of the watercress we used to gather from the creek when I was a kid, however it is more pundgent.  It is growing in popularity especially in the fancy resturants.  We grow arugula in the green house for early spring and late fall harvests.  This winter was very mild compared to most years and we picked arugula all winter except for January.  It does very well in the greenhouse environment.  Often greens grown in the green house will get "slimmy", but arugula grows in an upright position that allows  enough air flow around the leaves so it won't rot.

Arugula already going to seed in the greenhouse in late March
I allow the fall Arugula in the greenhouse to go to seed and it is one of the first plants to break ground in the spring.  Green house grown arugula is lighter in color and larger leafed than the out door grown arugula.  It is a little milder also.  I prefer it grown this way.

COMPANION PLANTING:   a few years back I had problems with the flea beetles eating my lettuce.  I raise a large variety of lettuces for market and my CSA shares and was quite concerned about the damage the beetles were causing.  In one of my mesclen plantings I noticed the lettuce was undisturbed and the arugula planted with it was full of holes.  After closer inspection of all the greens I discovered that the beetles prefered the spicy greens (arugula, mustard, mache etc.) to the lettuse.  Now I plant large patches of arugula next to the lettuce beds to attract the flea bettles.  The flea beetles are usually a problem in the early spring and then they lay their eggs to over winter and hatch the following spring.  I read that if you would keep the weeds and debry out of your garden you won't have to much trouble with them.  Well, we pull every weed by hand instead of using chemical sprays and we mulch heavily to conserve water so I guess we will just have to feed them arugula through the spring.

Give this green a try you just may like it----or maybe not------


4 cups arugula
8 fresh figs      (Sarah has yummy figs at the Ansestor Square Market)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
4 tbs. toasted pinenuts
2 tbs. honey
2 tbs. balsamic vinegar

Toss washed, dried and torn arugula, figs, cheese, and pinenuts in a bowl.  Whisk honey and vinegar together.  Pour over salad before serving.


3c. arugula, packed----wash and dry well
1/3c. pinenuts toasted
1/2c. fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large clove garlic chopped
3 tbs. olive oil

Add all ingredients except olive oil into a food processor.  Chop until fine.  Add oil in a slow, steady stream while blending.  Blend until smooth.  This will keep in a fridge for a week.  Add hot water if it is to thick.


washed, dried, torn Arugula
1 lb. bacon chopped
2 large eggs--from our hens of course
1/4c. cider vinegar
2 tbs. honey
dash of paprika, salt & pepper
1/4c. milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter

Cook bacon until crisp.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, vinegar, honey, paprika, salt and pepper.  Warm milk in a large saucepan.  Remove from heat add butter.  When butter is melted add 1/2 of the warm milk to the egg mixture.  Whisking constantly; pour this mixture into the remaining pan of milk.  Cook over medium-low heat.  Do not over-heat the eggs will curdle.  Pour over torn arugula.  Add bacon on top.  Serve immediately.


3 tbs. Balsamic vinegar
freshly ground pepper and sea salt
3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove minced
6 cups trimmed escarole or curly endive
2 cups arugula
fresh uncooked corn

Wash greens, spin or pat dry.  Tear into pieces.  In a large salad bowl whisk vinegar, salt and pepper.  Add olive oil in a thin stream whisking constantly.  Whisk in minced garlic.
Using a very sharp knife cut kernels from the corn.  Stir kernels into the vinaigrette.  Add greens and toss until the leaves are coated with the dressing.  Plate the salad.  Scoop corn kernels left on the bottom of the bowl onto the top of each salad serving.

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