Chowder Loves: Lemon-dressed Arugula

1218743481I’ve seen it on pizza. Omelettes. Chicken milanese sandwiches. Pretty much everywhere. But strangely enough, I’d never thought to jazz up my own cooking with lemon-dressed arugula. Until now.

It went something like this: Sunday night, baked halibut with macaroni and cheese. It’s one of my favorite meals to make (I’ll share the recipe as soon as I remember to actually write it down), but somehow just seemed a little blah for a balmy summer night. So while my fish baked, I squeezed the juice of one lemon into a bowl, added a tiny pinch of salt and sugar, and whisked in extra virgin olive oil to taste. The arugula went in, and voila! Lemon-dressed greens, ripe for the crunching.

What I love most about arugula is how it can so easily transform a boring dish into a knockout. It can also make your food sound more gourmet. (“Baked halibut with mac and cheese,” for example, sounds so…well, plebian compared to “breadcrumb encrusted halibut topped with organic lemon-dressed arugula with a side of three-cheese macaroni.”) Yes, alone, it’s a bitter herb. But piled atop eggs, fish, or chicken, it’s enough to make just about any main dish at once tangy and complex.

Already I’ve used my leftover arugula on omelettes with sharp cheddar, garlic naan topped with ground turkey and feta, and, of course, my boring old halibut standby. Now what to make next week?