10/1/18

Tender Profile | Arugula

Harvesting Arugula at Pitchfork Farm in Burlington’s Intervale

Harvesting Arugula at Pitchfork Farm in Burlington’s Intervale

Arugula, a.k.a. Eruca sativa

Who am I?

  • Plant family: Brassicaceae

  • Harvest season: Arugula is harvested from late spring through fall

  • Botanical details: Small leafy green with a peppery flavor

  • Great source of*: Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Iron, and Magnesium

*contains more than 10% of the recommended daily allowance for these nutrients

How to care for me:

  • Wash and dry my leaves and wrap me in paper towel inside a plastic bag, I like the vegetable crisper section of the fridge.

Pairings:

  • With a rather prominent pepper undertones, I pair well with sweet things like strawberries, beets and pears as well as more complex flavors like tomato, pungent cheeses, and don't forget the balsamic vinegar!

  • You can find me in Mediterranean and Italian cuisines!

Fun Facts:

  • In India the leaves of arugula are not commonly used however the seeds of the plant are pressed to produce oil known as taramira that is used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.

  • Mention of arugula can be found in several religious texts, in 2 Kings in the Bible it is referred to as oroth and in Jewish texts such as the Mishna and Talmud that date back to the first through fifth century AD.

  • Arugula’s spicy aroma and flavor make it naturally resistant to pests.

Tender Profile | Bell Peppers

Bell peppers at River Berry Farm

Bell peppers at River Berry Farm

Botanical name/plant family: Capsicum annuum

Important practices: According to the Environmental Working Group, conventionally grown bell peppers contain high levels of pesticide residues - look for organically grown peppers!

Harvest season: Summer

Great source of: Vitamin B6, Vitamin C (Excellent source!!! 97% DV in green peppers, and near 300% in red)

Storage methods: Store bell peppers in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

Cooking methods: I am crisp and sweet raw, though I also am great pickled, stuffed, grilled, sauteed, and stir fried! Roast me and remove my seeds for a delicious addition to sandwiches and salads, or puree me with garbanzo beans and tahini to make a flavorful hummus.

World cuisines: Bell peppers are indigenous to South/Central America, but were brought back to Europe in the 1400s by Christopher Columbus and incorporated into cuisines worldwide.

Pairings: I have a very distinct sweet flavor, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t pair well with savory ingredients. Serve me with onions, beans, lean pork, steak, zucchini, basil, salmon, and more!

 

Fun Facts

  • Unlike other members of the Capsicum family, bell peppers do not contain capsaicin, the compound that provides the pungency and kick to spicier varieties of peppers such as Serrano and Jalapeño.

  • Peppers have genders! Those with 3 lobes on the bottom are female, while those with 4 are male. Female peppers are sweeter and have more seeds and are better eaten raw and in salads, while male peppers are less sweet and contain less seeds and are better stir fried or sauteed.

  • All peppers begin as green peppers. Yellow red, and purple peppers are simply more ripened and therefore sweeter!