My husband and I hit the farmers market a little late last week, but still just in time to catch the young guys from a local farm with their huge bags of arugula. It was fresh and spicy, and we snatched up a whole bag. It seemed a little cool out for salad, so I cooked the arugula quickly, letting some of it wilt completely and some of it just barely, for a nice contrast in textures.
I love salads and vegetable dishes where pasta is the accent and not the star, so I added just a bit of orzo - enough to make it hearty (I had an inkling that this might make a good one-dish lunch) but not so much that it overwhelmed the arugula.
A handful basil and a few halved cherry tomatoes from our faithful tomato plant rounded out this harvest dish. Our tomato plant just keeps going and going - at this rate there will still be tomatoes in December!
Arugula with Orzo and Garden TomatoesServes 4
3/4 cup orzo
About 8-10 cups arugula
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 ounces goat or feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper
Cook the orzo in salted water according to package directions. Drain and reserve. Chop the arugula roughly. If the leaves are small or if it is baby arugula, no need to chop at all. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add a little olive oil. When it is hot, cook the arugula handful by handful, letting the first few handfuls wilt completely, and leaving the last few barely cooked.
Add the basil, tomatoes, cheese, and orzo with the last handful of arugula. Turn the heat to high and cook for another minute or two - until everything is hot. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.
(Images: Faith Durand)