We always have arugula in our refrigerator because, as my husband will happily do with spinach, I have begun to eat it by the handful right out of the bag. I don’t think I can ever get to the point where I eat spinach like potato chips (and good on you if you love it that much) but I feel pretty good about my sincere love for something green, whether plain or dressed.
Another reason I always buy a big box of arugula is so that I can make this salad, which I eat for lunch at least once a week. It is easy to prepare so I don’t have to feel bad for taking a long lunch (an easy thing to do when you work from home!) and the dressing keeps in the fridge for a few days if you want a redux.
My husband’s birthday is the day before Christmas, which means that Christmastime is basically a celebration of him in our household as neither of us are religious. We put up a tree and give gifts and celebrate the season — that is, the tilt of the Earth’s axis and the solstice. My husband’s favorite dessert is cheesecake. He loves it so much that we almost had it at our wedding. He grew up eating Snicker’s pie on his birthday made lovingly by his mother, and while it’s delicious I find that I can’t stomach much more than about a half a slice simply because it’s so rich. I was also eager to start creating our own Christmas/birthday traditions. I had never made a cheesecake before, so I went to Alton Brown for his recipe as they are fool-proof although sometimes complicated.
My friend Amanda over at Rooster & Wheat posted her own version of baked eggs & kale a while back, inspiring me to do something with my greens other than blend it into a fruit smoothie. I tried her recipe the very day she posted it. (I LOVE eggs.) It was delicious, but I did something wrong. I mustn’t have the deft hand that she did, or perhaps my cheap gas oven (ah, the joys of renting) was creating a wonky result. Either way, I couldn’t get my egg whites to cook properly and my kale, on the other hand, was much too undercooked.
Then came my September 2012 issue of Cook’s Illustrated. In it: Perfect Baked Eggs Florentine. Taking a page out of Cook’s Illustrated, and using kale instead of spinach, emerged my own version, so delicious that it’s a weekend go-to although it requires a bit of patience, something I’m often lacking after “accidentally” sleeping in.