This Wilted Arugula with Balsamic Vinegar dish is quick, easy and flavorful – perfect for a light lunch.
Before we get to far into this post, let me tell you that I ate this, and only this, for lunch. With that said, what you see in the pictures served one. Moi! 🙂
I tell you this because I know that many of you are feeding families with hungry appetites!
This recipe just happened to come about out of sheer desperation and necessity. I was starving, had left-over arugula, and needed something fast and easy. Bam and bam –> Wilted Arugula with Balsamic Vinegar was born. Hello baby – you were tasty. 🙂
I love me some fast and easy recipes that leave nothing to waste in the refrigerator – like salad greens!
And, given how quickly we’re coming up on the holidays (OMG it’s the day after tomorrow!), I (like you) have little time to put together a fancy-schmancy lunch.
As it turns out, I loved this and wanted to share it with all of you.
The important thing to know about wilting arugula (or sauteed spinach for that matter), is that it cooks down a LOT. So, although you may *think* you have enough, you might be surprised, after it’s wilted, how little there actually is left in the pan. 🙂 Me like a healthy, light lunch that doesn’t leave me hungry. Note to self – cook more than you think you need. There’s always room for left-overs.
If you’ve never roasted pine nuts, you are in for a real treat. They’re rich, sweet, almost creamy-like in texture and they are loaded with flavor. It’s hard to believe these little things come from a pine cone.
Also note, that they do roast very quickly, so be sure to watch them closely, stirring often – and when they are done, remove them not only from the stove, but get them out of the pan, or they will continue cooking. =learned the hard way more times than I can count.
This dish is so great for using up any left-over salad greens you may have lurking in your crisper drawer. I discovered a scant (4 cups) of arugula hiding in the fridge that was starting to look a bit tired, and I didn’t want going bad, and this Wilted Arugula with Balsamic Vinegar drizzle was the perfect solution.
And although 4 cups may seem like a lot of arugula, it shrunk to about 1/2 it’s size. Doesn’t it look little on the plate? 🙂 In fact, it the perfect serving size.
How about you? Are you a fan of arugula?
What I love about it is, it’s bite-y, bold and spicy flavor, and the snap of its’ crispy crunch. Perfect as a salad, on a sandwich – or served as a healthy side dish, like this one.
In the recipe below, I used sesame oil, but you can just as easily substitute extra-virgin olive oil. IMO, the sesame oil added a fantastic flavor element all it’s own.
- ⅛ to ¼ cup pinenuts, toasted
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 4-6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- parmesan cheese, shaved (optional)
- Heat skillet until hot. Add pine nuts, and toast until just golden brown. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil to the same skillet. Add garlic cloves and cook on medium to medium-high heat until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
- Add arugula and stir well, making sure arugula gets coated with oil. Just before arugula is wilted, add pine nuts, mixing them throughout. Remove from heat. Place on plate, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and top with shaved parmesan.
If you use shaved parmesan cheese - you will not need salt - the parmesan provides the necessary salt.