Arugula, with its distinct peppery taste and vibrant green leaves, is a delightful leafy green that adds a refreshing twist to any dish. While it is commonly used in salads and sandwiches but sautéing arugula is also a great way to enjoy it. In this article, I will share a simple sautéed arugula recipe with you.
1. Tips To Sauté Arugula Deliciously
Choose Fresh Arugula: When sautéing arugula, always opt for fresh and tender leaves. Look for bright green leaves without any signs of wilting or yellowing.
Minimal Cooking Time: Arugula cooks very quickly, so be mindful of the cooking time to avoid overcooking. A brief sauté is all it takes to preserve its vibrant color and crisp texture.
Use High Heat: Sauté arugula over high heat to quickly wilt the leaves without losing their flavor. A hot pan will also help prevent the leaves from becoming soggy.
Add Flavorful Ingredients: Enhance the taste of sautéed arugula by adding complementary ingredients like garlic, shallots, lemon zest, pine nuts, or Parmesan cheese.
Season Wisely: A pinch of salt and pepper go a long way in elevating the natural flavors of sautéed arugula. Be cautious with salt, as arugula already has a peppery taste.
2. Sautéed Arugula Recipe
- 8 oz fresh arugula, washed and dried
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for added heat)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon wedges for serving
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts to the dry skillet and toast them for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until they turn golden brown and release their nutty aroma. Be careful not to burn them, as pine nuts can quickly go from toasted to burnt.
Once the pine nuts are toasted, remove them from the skillet and set them aside.
In the same skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) to the hot oil. Sauté for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic becomes fragrant and lightly golden.
Carefully add the fresh arugula to the skillet. Toss the arugula with tongs to coat it evenly with the garlic-infused oil.
Sauté the arugula for just 1-2 minutes, or until it wilts and reduces in volume.
Season the sautéed arugula with a pinch of salt and pepper, adjusting the seasoning to your taste preferences.
Add the toasted pine nuts back to the skillet with the sautéed arugula. Toss them together to combine the flavors.
Remove the skillet from heat and transfer the sautéed arugula with pine nuts to a serving plate.
Serve the dish immediately with lemon wedges on the side. Squeezing lemon juice over the sautéed arugula just before eating adds a refreshing and zesty brightness to the dish.
3. What To Serve With Sautéed Arugula
Baked Chicken or Steak: The peppery taste of arugula complements the smoky flavors of baked chicken or steak. Serve the sautéed arugula as a side dish alongside your favorite grilled meat.
Pasta: Sautéed arugula makes an excellent topping for pasta dishes. Toss it with cooked pasta, a drizzle of olive oil, and some grated Parmesan cheese for a simple and flavorful meal.
Seafood: Pair sautéed arugula with grilled or pan-seared fish for a light and nutritious combination. The arugula’s peppery notes add a delightful contrast to the delicate flavors of seafood.
Quiche or Frittata: Serve sautéed arugula alongside a quiche or frittata for a delicious brunch or light lunch. The greens bring a fresh and vibrant element to the savory egg dish.
Risotto: Sautéed arugula can be stirred into creamy risotto just before serving. The peppery greens add a burst of flavor and a pop of color to the dish.
Pizza: Use sautéed arugula as a pizza topping along with other ingredients like cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and prosciutto for a gourmet pizza experience.
Sandwiches and Wraps: Incorporate sautéed arugula into sandwiches and wraps for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
Grains: Sautéed arugula can be served with various grains such as quinoa, couscous, or farro to create a wholesome and satisfying meal.
Cheese Platter: Add sautéed arugula to a cheese platter for an attractive and flavorful addition. It pairs well with both soft and hard cheeses.
Sautéed arugula is a delightful and versatile side dish that can be paired with a wide range of main courses. Its peppery flavor and vibrant green color add a refreshing twist to any meal. By following the instructions for sautéing arugula in this article, I can ensure with you that this leafy green retains its tender texture and enticing taste.