We’re having something of a spring heat wave on the U.S. East Coast. Several of my cool-weather crops bolted, including a bed of arugula (a.k.a. rocket).
Once arugula has bolted, it isn’t good for much. Conventionally, it becomes too hot and bitter for salads.
I picked it anyway, figuring it had to be good for something. If nothing else, the neighbor’s guinea pigs like fresh greens. I ended up with a pound and a half of arugula leaves.
I read that cooking arugula reduces those off flavors. The suggestion being that you can eat it cooked, after it has bolted, even if you wouldn’t want it in a salad.
I put that to the test by substituting arugula for kale in a kale-and-bean soup recipe. The recipe is from Fat Free and Flavor Full, by Dr. Gabe Mirkin. You can find a version of the recipe at this link, but I believe any generic white-bean-and-kale soup recipe would work.
The nice thing is that this recipe uses up a lot of greens. I had no problem using the entire 1.5 pound of arugula, roughly chopped, along with a pound of dry pinto beans, cooked. (And broth, onions, garlic, and so on, per the recipe in the link above).
The results were excellent. Cooked arugula has chewy-but-not-stringy texture like that of fresh spinach. It added its own flavor note, but not so much as to overpower the soup. As a bonus, you can freeze the soup, so you end up with a way to cook and preserve your excess of arugula.