Tuesday, May 3, 2011

where Julia and I differ; or, the proudest day of my life

Legend has it that someone once asked Julia Child, if there was food that she didn't like.  (And by legend I mean that I heard it once and don't feel like looking it up.)  She replied: arugula and cilantro.  I'm sure that I gasped when I first heard this, appalled and confused that THE Julia Child disliked what I consider one of the finest vegetables I know.  While, I am luke warm on cilantro, I. LOVE. ARUGULA.  I love it. I do.  I put it in everything from salads to  sandwiches to pasta and rice dishes.  Like spinach, you can it eat raw like lettuce or cooked but the flavor is nothing like spinach - nutty and spicy and refreshing.  It's just SO good, how could Julia be blind to it's charms?   

At least I know that I'm not alone in my adoration of this unappreciated green.  The president also eats it.  In his 2008 campaign, he took a lot of flack for making a comment about the price of arugula these days.  
And yeah, it can be a bit pricey.  But that's where the proudest day of my life part comes in.  You know how I told you a few weeks back about my vegetable garden.  Can you see where I'm going here?  I planted a row of arugula seeds and a week later I saw itty-bitty specks of green coming up.  And today, I thinned my row and threw some of the sprouts in my salad. Ta-dah!  A salad of greens that I grew myself.  This marks one of the proudest days of my life because now I know that in a zombie apocalypse or even just a regular apocalypse, I can grow my own food.  Granted, in an actual emergency it's arguable as to whether I would have died by starvation before I got to eat my zesty salad; I view this as an opportunity to develop useful skills and be grateful for my abundance. 


  1. Who knew that arugala (sP?) could be so entertaining? But I must say that a salsa without cilantro is no salsa at all!

  2. I find this so interesting, arugula huh. I have to tell you my story of arugula. I was so excited to grow a garden several several years ago. I picked out new and old varieties of the standard selection. I was really excited to grow lettuce, I mean REALLY ReALLY REALLY excited. Well my experience was very little and I had NO idea what arugula was, just some lettuce {can you see where this is going}. I let it grow and grow and grow. I made myself a HUGE beautiful green salad of LARGE leaves of arugula. I had no idea that when I bit into my salad that it would bite back! By the way, the longer it matures the stronger and spicier the flavor gets. I was thinking I was growing something mild like romaine or spinach, oh was I wrong. Fast forward 10 to 12 years, ok I get it now;it's spicy, it's tangy, it's not mild. I do enjoy arugula, but I have to be prepared for the bite back {and I like to pair it with something mild like spinach or romaine}.