Five or six years ago I planted wild rustic arugula in my community garden plot. It has reliably overwintered and self-seeded ever since.

It’s good to keep ground covered.

But now arugula has engulfed basil, dill and parsley, the cilantro seeds I planted never had a chance, and my purple kale and swiss chard are lost in a jungle of floppy waving bloomstalks.

Time to get serious about harvesting.

I eat arugula every day

  • In salad, with or without other greens
  • To spice up coleslaw with its peppery tang
  • Chopped in scrambled eggs for breakfast
  • Sauteed with garlic and onions on pasta and risotto
  • Tender tips with flowers raw or sauteed with garlic and sugar snap peas (photo above)

But it just keeps growing.

So I’m freezing sautéed onions and arugula for winter dishes and cranking out batches of pesto as fast as I can.  I cool the peppery bite with an equal measure of the fresh mint running amok in my rain garden.


2 cups washed arugula leaves

2 cups fresh mint leaves (parsley works too)

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 tablespoons chopped walnuts

6 hefty garlic cloves

Stuff it all into food processor bowl and pulse, scraping the sides as needed, until blended and roughly chopped.

Add salt, pepper, lemon or lime juice to taste

Add 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated or in small chunks

Process until everything is incorporated but not pureed

Pack into small canning jars, topped with more olive oil

This recipe fits (barely) in my Cuisinart and makes 4 half-cup jars to freeze for winter delectation plus enough for dinner.