Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An Admirer of Arugula

The little bit of warmth and recent sunshine has added longevity to the fall season greens (available at the farm on Tuesdays 8:30AM till dark, along with Lancaster Farm Fresh 4 Season Harvest drop off ), so I have been enjoying one of my personal favorites this time of year--Arugula. The wet cool weather tempers arugula's heat potential, and the resulting nutty, slightly hot, complex flavor pairs perfectly with sweet fall fruit like apples, pears, cranberries and my personal favorite asian pears. In fact I am going to make an asian pear/pine nut/arugula salad for the Kennett Farmers Market community potluck--I just have to decide on a cheese-shaved parmesan, chevre, blue cheese crumbled on top--the combinations are limitless.

Speaking of the combo of arugula,fruit and cheese click here for a great Brie, apple, arugula sandwhich recipe.

On the last day of the famers market Martha Pisano (of Highland Sheep Cheese fame) and I had a conversation about cooking chip steak and serving it over a bed of arugula, the warm meat slightly wilting the greens, yum. This reminded me of one of my favorite arugula recipes that my sister brought back from some trendy restaurant in NYC, basically it was flank steak cooked in a balsamic and shallot reduction. I could not find the exact recipe, but this is close. I suggest adding shallots to the vinaigrette using grass-fed beef to make it all the more flavorful. Enjoy!

Flank Steak and Arugula With Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette
The Washington Post, August 10, 2005

Flank steak is usually marinated, then broiled or grilled. This quick version dispenses with a marinade and cooks the meat in a skillet. Making it that way creates pan juices, which are deglazed with balsamic vinaigrette, pulling the dish together. Serve on a bed of peppery arugula and top with curls of Parmesan cheese.

Leftovers are great the next day on a crusty roll with a touch of mayonnaise (keep the vinaigrette separate until lunchtime to keep the roll from becoming soggy).

4 to 6 servings


• 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 1/2 pounds flank steak
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 12 ounces arugula leaves, tough stems discarded, washed and torn into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
• (4 to 6 ounces) A large chunk of Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, tilting the pan to coat the bottom with oil. Season the steak with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Place meat in the skillet and cook until the underside is well browned, adjusting the heat as needed to keep the meat from burning, about 6 minutes. Turn and cook until the other side is browned, about 6 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to a carving board to rest while making the vinaigrette. Set the skillet aside.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup oil. Return the skillet to high heat, pour in the vinaigrette, and scrape up any browned bits in the skillet with a wooden spatula (don't let the vinaigrette reduce). Remove from the heat.

Divide the arugula among individual plates. Holding the knife at a 45-degree angle, slice the steak across the grain into thin slices. Place overlapping slices of the steak over the arugula. Whisk any meat juices into the vinaigrette, and spoon the vinaigrette over the steak and arugula.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave a generous amount of Parmesan cheese onto the meat and greens. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source:
Adapted from "The Carefree Cook," by Rick Rodgers (Broadway Books, 2003).

370 calories, 28g fat, 6g saturated fat, 44mg cholesterol, 278mg sodium, 4g carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, n/a sugar, 25g protein.

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