The other day, I was lucky enough to receive a market basket of beautiful produce from my dear friend Mary Jo’s incredibly lush vegetable garden. The bag was filled with just-picked delights such as rainbow swiss chard, broccoli greens, Romain lettuce, and my absolute favorite cruciferous vegetable and superfood, arugula. Did you know that arugula was considered an aphrodisiac by the Romans and Egyptians back in the day? Yes, it’s been around that long, and I totally get why they thought it a “sensuous” food since it boosts the feel-good hormone, serotonin.
The peppery-herbaceous quality is unlike any other. Arugula is part of the mustard green family and is high in iron, calcium, and vitamins A, B-complex, C, and K. Good thing for me that it’s available year-round since it’s my go-to for salads and so much more.
I usually don’t cook this leafy green as much as let it wilt into whatever dish I’m creating. I added a surprise ingredient, an apple, whose job was to balance out the saltiness of the cheeses and pepperiness of the arugula. I hope you try this recipe spotlighting arugula. It’s easy, quick, and really delicious.
Here’s the video for my recipe below:
Warm Ravioli Salad with Marinated Cheese, Apple, and Tomato
Serves 2 to 3
10 oz. fresh small ravioli
3 cups lightly packed arugula (about 3 oz.)
1 medium unpeeled red apple, such as Honey Crisp, diced into 3/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup halved multicolor cherry tomatoes
1/3 heaping cup crumbled or cubed jarred marinated cheese packed in oil, such as feta or goat, plus 2 Tbs. oil from the jar
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino romano cheese; more to taste
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh oregano
1 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes; more to taste
1/4 tsp. granulated garlic
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Lemon wedges for serving (optional)
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the ravioli according to package directions until al dente.
Meanwhile, put the arugula, apple, tomatoes, marinated cheese, oil from the jar, pecorino romano, oregano, vinegar, pepper flakes, garlic, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Transfer the ravioli to the bowl with a slotted spoon and toss until well combined. Season to taste with more salt and pepper flakes, divide among serving bowls, sprinkle with the pine nuts, and serve with the lemon wedges if using.
If you can’t find jarred marinated cheese, I’ll include a recipe in a separate blog post (search Marinated Cheese).
P.S. Look for my arugula feature in the August/September issue of Fine Cooking Magazine.
*Fabulous food styling by Heather Meldrom, incredible photography by Felicia Perretti