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The Tao of Arugula

The Tao of Arugula

To achieve a harmonious life, the Taoists propagated a curious recommendation: wu wei, or do by not doing. In our action-oriented society, not doing something is under-appreciated. Of course, not doing isn’t the same as doing nothing. Wu wei is the art of taking the right action at the right moment to allow what is to be, in all its glory. For the modern cook, however, it isn’t easy to prepare a satisfying meal from ingredients that are watery, unripe and tasteless because they’re shipped from afar or come from a can or the freezer.

Thankfully, there’s arugula, which allows us to experience the wu wei principle immediately. It’s as simple as cutting it and putting it into your mouth. If you’d like to glean more lessons from arugula, grow it yourself in a pot or in your garden. Once the plant has formed rosettes, snip off the top, leaving a height of one inch (three centimeters); it’ll grow back. Those spicy leaves are good with just about anything. Sprinkle them over your salad, soup, pasta or stir-fry dish. If you’ve missed the right moment to act, not to worry. The little flowers are also edible. And if you missed your opportunity to harvest the flowers, allow the plant to form seeds and try again. Where else would you find such a friendly teacher who gives you so many second chances?

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Megan, selected from The Intelligent Optimist

Ode, the magazine for Intelligent Optimists, is an international independent journal that publishes positive news, about the people and ideas that are changing our world for the better.

14 comments

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10:26AM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

I have never eaten arugula. I want to try it but have not found it in my grocery store. Will check the organic section. Recipes sound great!

2:07AM PDT on May 11, 2012

I like arugula, but never tried to grow on my own, I tried basil to grow, but it didnt looked like in the shops, it was very weak.. maybe if someone has some idea how to do it best??!! :)

4:47PM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

Try it on a pizza with pears and gorgonzola cheese....yum.....

8:17PM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

Thanks for this, I may try planting some this spring, I waited too late last year and it got too hot
for salad greens.

11:56PM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

Thanks for sharing. I enjoy arugula in salads.

4:32AM PST on Dec 29, 2010

Thanks for the article.

12:36PM PST on Jan 27, 2010

interesting :-)

5:08PM PST on Dec 24, 2009

Thanks!

4:00PM PST on Dec 18, 2009

thanks

9:15PM PST on Dec 7, 2009

Thanks.

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