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Local arugula hits the market signalling the return of salad season

A beautiful tart topped with fresh arugula makes for the perfect pairing with pink bubbles.
A beautiful tart topped with fresh arugula makes for the perfect pairing with pink bubbles.

The season’s first arugula greens are here.

This beautiful peppery leaf is an absolute joy and provides an incomparable zing to your salads. Please don’t compare fresh, local farm raised arugula to the packaged variety available at the grocery store, there is simply no comparison.

Super farmer Jordan Marr at Unearthed Farms has announced his arugula and salad greens are ready for his delivery customers. If you want to sign up to join his online farmer’s market and shop online and enjoy his beautiful organic produce brought to your door, click here to sign up

Jay Drysdale of Bella Wines in Naramata is both a winemaker and a chef. Everything this man creates is delicious and is of course, perfectly wine paired with his sparkling wines. This recipe comes from my cookbook, The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker – In the Okanagan. It is super easy to create and stars beautiful, fresh arugula. Named for another superstar Okanagan farmer, Jerome Gagne of Medley Organics in Summerland. Watch for news on his produce and where to purchase on his Facebook page.

Bella Wines is a boutique sparkling wine house in Naramata.
Bella Wines is a boutique sparkling wine house in Naramata.

This is a wonderful recipe and wine pairing to serve for Mother’s Day.

Medley Seasonal Tarte

1 - 4”x4” piece puff pastry, rolled out
2-3 Tbsp goat cheese
1-2 Tbsp cream
1 medium zucchini, cut into ribbons with vegetable peeler
1/2 small red onion, sliced very thin
1/2 medium potato, cut very thin
3-4 cups loosely packed local arugula
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
10 slices (150 g) prosciutto
salt & pepper

Chef note: What I love about this recipe is that you can utilize whatever is in season. I like to use a goat cheese base for its tartness, but any spreadable cheese will work.

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Mix together goat cheese and cream to a spreadable consistency. Roll out half of the puff pastry, to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, into the size and shape you like, spread the goat cheese mixture over it. Slice your vegetables as thinly as possible (a mandolin works great) and arrange over top of the goat cheese. Remember that less is more for this dish, if you put too many vegetables on top, they will not cook through properly in the time it takes the puff pastry to cook. Place on a cookie sheet and into the oven for 10-15 minutes until the tarte is golden brown then remove to cool.

While the pastry is cooking, make a lemon-Dijon vinaigrette: whisk together the Dijon mustard, lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl. You want the dressing to be tart to balance the richness of the pastry. Toss the vinaigrette with fresh arugula and hand tear pieces of prosciutto into the salad once tossed. Don’t forget to gently season with salt and pepper.

Once the tarte is out of the oven and cut the way you like, top with arugula and prosciutto salad and you have the perfect wine country brunch/lunch that takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

Wine Pairing: 2019 Bella Wines Westbank Gamay 

Jay’s notes: Did a quick press for the light pink hue to this Rosé. Comes out of the gate with cranberry, pink grapefruit, and flowers. This wine is so pretty with some great acidity.

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