Arugula Salad with Grilled Eggplant & Portabellas

1 07 2012

I  love everything about this meal. The fact that it was made with organic arugula from the CSA. The fact that it was my first time using the grill this summer. Definite turning point. And also the fact that I made a cilantro-based anything and was able to stomach it, let alone enjoy it. I still hate cilantro on it’s own, but the few times I’ve cooked with it, I absolutely love its fresh and herby flavor.


So for now, Cilantro: 2, Kristie: 0, the battle continues.

Give me a pile of grilled veggies over a bed of cold greens, covered in a flavorful sauce, and I am quite content.

Arugula Salad with Grilled Eggplant & Portabellas
Adapted from Passionate Vegetarian

4 portabella mushrooms, caps removed
1 large eggplant, stem ends removed, sliced horizontally into long, flat pieces, each the length of the whole eggplant and about 1/3-inch thick
1-2 tbs. olive oil
Cilantro Vinaigrette (recipe below)
6-8 cups very fresh arugula leaves, washed and well-dried

Preheat grill to high.

Lightly brush the mushroom caps and eggplant slices with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place them directly on the preheated grill. Grill the mushrooms for 6-8 minutes and the eggplant for 8-10 minutes, turning once with tongs about halfway through.

Remove the vegetables from the grill. Toss with about 2 tbs. of the Cilantro Vinaigrette and serve on the cold greens. Top with any remaining dressing.

Spaghetti with Chili, Lemon and Arugula

4 08 2011

Can I start off by saying how A friggin’ plus this summer has been so far? Las Vegas, full-day beach excursions, the shape of ducks!, pool parties, drunkenly reconnecting with some of the best people I know, karaoke, margaritas, skee-ball, new friends, a live-in loverfriendboy. It’s pretty much all really inappropriate for a 24 year-old living at their parents house. This is the stuff of college summer breaks and of the unemployed.  Now it’s time to watch Lost and drink wine. Death is for babies.

Any ways. Ryan and I were going to make this meal together, but he ended up talking to his mother on the phone the whole time and by the time he was off, I was done. Second time this has happened. Whisper voice: I’m starting to think it’s intentional. His loss, I guess. Preparing the meal is almost as good as eatin’ it.

A bright little dish. Flecks of color and popping flavors throughout; lemon zest, bursts of chili and garlic. I used a garlic-infused olive oil that gave the whole dish a powerful presence. Highly recommended if you can find it. The sharp parmesan is a perfect match to the peppery arugula. Though if arugula isn’t your favorite, you could try basil as a substitute.

Spaghetti with Chili, Lemon and Arugula
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking: A Commonsense Guide

13 oz. spaghetti
3 1/2 oz. arugula, finely shredded
1 tb. lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red chili, seeded and minced
1 tsp. chili oil (or just some olive oil mixed with red pepper flakes)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, put the arugula, lemon zest, garlic, chili, chili oil, olive oil and two-thirds of the cheese in a large bowl and mix together.

Drain the pasta well, then add to the argula mixture and toss together. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve sprinkled with the remaining Parmesan.