3 Simple and Delicious Summer Recipes With Arugula


The supremacy of organic ingredients or The Importance of going to Rhinebeck NY, a food play in 3 acts


Natalia – the food guru of MAZA Magazine. Even on a 3-day trip I leave New York with two grocery bags from NYC Italian supermarket Eataly, just in case I don’t find a good store. Christopher garlic is tops on my list.

Martin – designer and photographer of MAZA Magazine.

Gogo & Pavleta – free spirited friends, always hungry for new adventures.

The Local – the primary suspect in the local culinary crime scene.

Act I – The Secret Ingredient

The first time I went to “The Local,” my friend Gogo insisted I sharpen my taste buds and solve the puzzle of the secret ingredients of its dishes. I was amused that someone would think there is a special ingredient to make food more desirable. I was in a great mood, a 3 day weekend had just started and the bartender made me amazing cucumber-infused vodka with fresh watermelon puree. We arrived late and we were the last table in the restaurant, however they treated us as if they had just opened the restaurant. We got a lovely table on the second floor with a view to the terrace with red umbrellas and a glimpse of the beautifully crafted wooden bar downstairs. The waiter walked us through the whole menu and specials as he was preparing the stage for the magnificent play.

We started with complimentary “amuse,” small bites of perfectly prepared golden fritters. So smooth from the inside and playfully crunchy on the surface, they melt quickly and left me longing for more. We continued our culinary journey with fried oysters “Asian Style” with furikake, Panko and Cantonese sweet and sour sauce, served in the oyster shell. We then ordered one baby arugula and roasted beet salad, but it was impossible to resist ordering two more. Then we had deconstructed “borscht” tacos with braised shortrib and mouth-watering Thai fried brussel sprouts with crisp pork belly.

With each bite the stress accumulated from the work week was taken off.

When we got the entrees, the magic happened — we were all laughing, filled with so much joy. I felt light, free of the weight of the stress; the pressure between my eyes was gone. It was a magical moment. With the power of this great food I was able to channel to my free spirit. This was one of the greatest moments I shared with my friends. It was a precious moment to look at their happy faces. I have never experienced such reaction provoked by food. I felt completely intoxicated from the beautifully prepared delicious food and chef’s artistic mix of fresh organic ingredients.

Act II – Don’t Panic

We experience the surrounding environment through our senses – we hear, we see, we smell, we touch, we taste. Our memories are created by these five senses. The way it works is brilliantly simple. Gangs of excited neurons run to the brain to report the experience – an explosion of thousands of impulses. If you are lucky, at some point you will reach the level when the brain can’t control the stream, and this is when you experience the revelation – pure joy and happiness.

What is the secret ingredient here?

It was a well-crafted dream. It takes time, dedication, persistency, discipline and a lot a creativity to get to the place where Chef Wes Dier of The Local is.

The journey stars from the moment you enter the restaurant. Your first bite is not the “amuse” but the welcoming smile of Bryn, the chef’s wife. The interior of the place is a crafty provencal style filled with personal touches. The bar is salvaged from the chef’s previous restaurant. The open kitchen has a beautiful etched glass that casts sunny stars on the natural edge wood countertop in the afternoon. You see fresh flowers from the garden. The whole place smells like home and makes you feel welcome and loved.

The food is prepared with fresh organic ingredients from local farms and is extremely well executed, without being overwhelmingly complicated.

 Act III – The Gesture

The award-winning Hudson Valley Chef Wes Dier was very kind to share these great summer arugula dishes for our MAZA readers.

WILD for BABY ARUGULA’ – 3 simple, enticing & delicious arugula recipes from Chef Wes Dier of Rhinebeck’s acclaimed eatery “The Local.” Inspired by the exquisite, seasonal baby arugula from Sky Farm in Millerton, NY.

EDWARD’S 14mo. AGED ‘SURRYANO’ HAM & SKY FARM BABY ARUGULA ROLLS with fried olives, dehydrated tomatoes, lemony white balsamic emulsion and Old Chatham camembert croutons.

ROASTED MIGLIORELLI FARM GOLDE & a SALAD of SKY FARM BABY ARUGU with orange fennel vinaigrette, Cambazola cheese pear mostarda and spiced pecans.

PHYLLO WRAPPED COACH FARM GOAT CHEESE & SKY FARM BABY ARUGULA with grenadine pickled onions, fig jam and toasted crostini.

Find the recipes at the July issue of MAZA Cooking Journals, our iPad magazine available for free from the iTunes Store. Or go to www.mazamag.com

The Local

38 w.market st. Rhinebeck, NY

SKY FARM – / BABY ARUGULA – www.skyfarmsalads.com

EDWARD’S – / AGED HAM – www.edwardsvaham.com

OLD CHATHAM SHEEPHERDING CO. – CAMEMBERT –www.blacksheepcheese.com

COACH FARM – GOAT CHEESE – www.coachfarm.com

MIGLIORELLI FARM – BEETS – www.migliorelli.com