April 27, 2010

What is an ARUGULA Salad?

This week I came across a word I'd never heard of before...arugula. Any American readers will scoff at my stupidity at this point...but for anyone else who is curious...read on.

On Monday night I was watching Good News Week a show here in Australia on Channel 10. Guests on the show this week were comedians performing at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. One of the comedians who appeared on the show was DeAnne Smith an American comedian, and a performer who I had never heard of before.

So after the show I Googled her name, checked out her website and started reading her blog. All was fine until I came across this line in her blog...

"A steaming plate of salmon patties, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, and arugula salad is placed before me."

And that's where it began.

Arugula salad???



So back to Google I went and was unprepared to be pleasantly surprised. Arugula is otherwise known as




Arugula is what Americans sometimes call rocket. I say sometimes because I have watched some American cooking shows before and they have always called it rocket. I have to say I have never heard the term arugula used in Australia.

So I thought that after my a-ha moment, it would be good to include one of my favourite salad recipes that includes rocket.

Pumpkin, Pine Nut and Prosciutto Salad

Pumpkin, Pine Nut and Prosciutto Salad

Make as much as you want...alter ingredients to taste and quantity desired.

Good couple of handfuls of rocket or salad mix leaves (NOT iceberg lettuce please! But rocket and baby spinach leaves go really well together.)
Good wedge of pumpkin
75g packet of thinly sliced prosciutto
Packet of pine nuts
Red onion (optional)
Fresh parmesan cheese (optional)

Rinse and pick the salad leaves, dry and then place into a nice salad bowl. Remove the skin off the pumkin and cut into rough chunks. Roast the pumpkin in the oven at 180oC until cooked and slightly caramelised. Remove from the oven.

Toast the pine nuts on low heat in a dry pan until slightly coloured and fragrant.

Place the prosciutto slices into the dry pan and fry lighly until slightly coloured.

Cut the pumpkin into smaller, "bite sized" pieces and add to the salad leaves. Cut the prosciutto into small pieces and add to the mix. Add the pine nuts and some thinly sliced red onion.

Toss, grate over some permesan cheese and serve immediately.

I have tagged this post as vegetarian, even though I am well aware that there is no way that prosciutto could be considered veggo. This is because the prosciutto could be very easily left out and have its salti-ness replaced by feta cheese or soft goat's cheese. Grab some fetta and crumble it through the salad and it's a really nice vegetarian salad.

Leave out the parmesan to serve though...otherwise it could all get a little too cheesy.

If you want a mega salt hit...that tastes good...and you don't have to make it a vegetarian salad, add the fetta or goat's cheese and leave the prosciutto in. Keep the parmesan out though...too much cheese can be a bad thing...only in this case though :)

Pumpkin, Pine Nut and Prosciutto Salad - close up

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for info. I have been wondering about arugula. Also thanx fot the recipe and alternatives; I am vegetarian.