Monday, July 20, 2009

Aurgula, Part Deux: Not a Pretty Story

After the delicious pasta with arugula, garlic and peas, I was ready for more dishes incorporating my new friend arugula. I am sad to report that the arugula did not cooperate. When I fetched it from the crisper drawer, the remainder was soggy and slimy, compost on the hoof, one might say.

I've been very pleased with my method for keeping CSA greens fresh for at least a week, but arugula must have a shorter lifespan than the lettuces and chard. This is what I do:

1. First, I'm careful to pick up my produce as early in the day as possible and to get it home and refrigerated ASAP. The pick-up station, an office, is air-conditioned, but these tender vegetables need TLC.

2. I pull out my trusty OXO salad spinner and get to work. For the greens, I rinse them in several changes of water and then employ the girls to spin, spin, spin their frustrations out. It's cheaper than therapy (for all of us!).

3. When the greens are sufficiently dry, I get out a Ziploc bag (love the kind with the slide-lock!) and put two sheets of paper towel in the bottom. In go the greens, topped with another double layer of paper towels. Into the crisper drawer. I check these bags every few days and replace the paper towels if they are over-damp.

Before the arugula, I had problems with frisee, which has so many fractal-like nooks and crannies that it was difficult to thoroughly dry. Maybe I'll get another chance to perfect my green preservation technique for frisee. Arugula will just need to be used more quickly.

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