The “Grey House” Garden, Part 2: Arugula

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It worked. Seeds were planted. They sprouted. And today, the novice gardener ate her first pick of the season.

OK, for many of you out there, this is far less than a miracle. After all, humans have been growing food for around 12,000 years. But remember, I’m a child of the iceberg-in-plastic generation. For me, this is thrilling.

So far, the garden has been much easier than we thought it would be: plant seeds; give them water; watch them grow. However, my husband and I have made our share of mistakes. We accidentally ordered bright red—I’m talking screaming-scarlet—mulch for the aisles. Therefore, instead of the organic-hued rows we envisioned, we’re left with racing stripes. Worse, however, is that the spot we chose for the plot—right next to the house—doesn’t receive nearly as much full sunlight as we had thought (we fear the spinach might never make it past infancy). Oops.

Today, however, I’m feeling optimistic (and who doesn’t love baby spinach, anyway?). I just ate an unforgettable salad of freshly snipped arugula leaves tossed with a buttermilk and herb dressing. Delicate and sweet, peppery yet cool—nothing could taste finer.

I suspect that the salad would taste good even with grocery store or farmer’s market arugula. But, if you haven’t ever done so, try growing your own. You’ll see what I mean.

Arugula Salad with Buttermilk & Herb Dressing

This makes plenty of dressing, which can be used throughout the week if kept in a jar in the fridge (it also makes for a great marinade for poultry). For a smaller serving, cut the recipe in half.

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspooons honey
  • 2 garlic clove, smashed to a paste (or passed through garlic press)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh marjoram or basil
  • 2 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch arugula
  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and let sit or 10 minutes at room temperature, or for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  2. Drizzle the dressing (you won’t need it all) over the arugula and serve immediately.


One response to “The “Grey House” Garden, Part 2: Arugula”

  1. I’ve been inspired for my own garden, but I suppose it will have to wait ’til next year. The salad, however, is on the menu…

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