I just got off the phone with my travel agent and she has booked me on the dream tropical all-inclusive vacation package this fall that is guaranteed to be filled with hot chicks in a hurricane free zone with few insects or lizards and hopefully not prone to political upheaval. Sound too good to be true? Think again.
Welcome to the sunny island of Arugula. If you have read this column before, and I’m sure at least seven of you have, then you know that I have in the past written extensively about exotic travel and food throughout the world. Jamaica, Ethiopia, Morocco, Germany, Route 66, Myanmar and Amish country, I’ve been to them all.
I admit, being as worldly as I am that I have never heard of this tiny island nation before but the brochures promise white-sandy beaches, cooling trade winds and warm, friendly people. Fringed by the turquoise Caribbean waters I am looking forward to my 3 night stay at the Sea Thong Resort and Grille that is home to quiet retreats and topless sunbathing. The pictures of the place show a lavish pool with a fresh coat of foam and a real oil-slick harvested from a disabled oil rig about thirty miles off shore, but still visible. The menu touts 24-hour room service that includes salad, nachos, something that looks vegan and bagels. Hot damn this is going to be exciting.
Tomorrow I’m going over to the mall and buy me a pair of 21" Billabong New Order Flip PX floral printed swimmies with a couple of tank tops to go with. You can’t go wrong with Billabong, they’re classic, dependable and submersible.
But what excites me the most is the food.
Check out the list for some exciting Arugulan recipes.
Arugula, Jamaica…Oooh I wanna take ya
Grilled Eggplant, Arugula & Mozz Panini
4 Slices Fresh Eggplant
Sea Salt/Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Cups Arugula Leaves
8 Thin Slices Mozzarella
8 Slices Country Pana Bread
1 George Foreman Grill
Brush the eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place 4 slices, oil side down on George’s grill and top with 2 slices Mozzarella and Arugula. Top with bread, close the grill and cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Cut on the diagonal and serve.
Caramelized Pear & Arugula Salad w/ Bleu Cheese
½ Stick Butter
3 Tbs. Rice Wine Vinegar
1Tbs. Palm Sugar
2 Brown Pears, Peeled and Sliced in Half
½ Cup Walnuts
1 Cup Arugula
1 Cup Bleu Cheese, Crumbled
Place the butter, vinegar and sugar in a small sauce pan and melt over medium heat. Add the pears halves and walnuts and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Place the arugula on a salad plate and top with pear and walnuts. Spoon the pan juices over the salad and sprinkle with bleu cheese.
¾ Cup Fresh Lime Juice
½ Cup Arugula, Plus more for Garnish
6 Oz. Vodka
3 Oz. St. Germaine Liqueur
Toss the lime juice and arugula in a blender, pulse until fine and a beautiful shade of jade green.
Strain the liquid in to a glass pitcher, stir in the alcohol and finish with a splash of sparkling water.
Fill glasses with crushed ice, pour in cocktail and garnish with arugula, citrus blossoms and frou-frou umbrellas.