Bitter Greens

In search of a winter meal that’s quick and nutritions ?  We’re eating fewer cold salads this time of year, but still need the nutrient value of greens. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts fit the bill, but are dense and take time to cook.  Arugula, also called rocket, is another brassica and is quick and delicious cooked. So you may want to add it to your winter shopping list too. All three of these vegetables are members of the Brassica family and their complex taste includes a bitter note.

This bitterness comes from toxins that plants employs to discourage predators. Bitterness forewarns us of potential poisoning. We humans have what amounts to a single type of taste receptor for sweetness, but something like fifty different varieties of taste receptors to detect bitter tastes.  Poisoning is serious business after all!

In an interesting irony, however, the molecules that create bitter flavor include antioxidants, which have helpful properties in their mix. They appear to fight off inflection, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.  So there is reason ancient herbalists had recipes for “bitter greens” in their healing files and that we have a resurgence of interest in eating them today.

So, I’m weaving the antioxidants of the brassica family into a quick and easy meal by recommending that you consider adding chopped arugula to eggs and bacon.. This brings Vitamins C and D as a winter boost.

Green Eggs, No Ham

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fast and easy breakfast of eggs and greens in winter


  • 1 egg
  • 1 wedge Laughing Cow spreadable Swiss with Garlic and Herbes
  • 1 slice bacon, natural, no nitrates, center cut
  • arugula, as much as you can hold in one fist
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian herbs
  • pinch dried red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Crazy Jane’s Salt and pepper (or your own salt and pepper)


  • Finely chop the arugula. I hold the bunch together with my left hand (finger tops bend in protectively) and thin slice with a chef’s knife. This is called a chiffonade.)
  • Heat a skillet at medium. Brown the bacon, turning once.
  • Chop the onion. Cut the cheese wedge into smaller pieces. Crack the eggs and sprinkle with the Italian herbs, red pepper and salt and pepper.
  • Remove cooked bacon to a paper towel. Drain the fat from the pan except for the lightest of coatings. Add the chopped onion. Reduce to low. Cover to sweat the onion (bring out its moisture.) Turn the onion with a spatula and top it with the chiffonade of arugula. Cover again.)
  • Add 1/2 Tbs. water to the egg and beat. Add the lumps of cheese and stir.
  • Take pan off heat. Reserve greens to cutting board. Spray pan with oil or add a little remaining bacon drippings.
  • Over medium heat add eggs and cheese to scramble. When about half scrambled, it thickens quickly, add the chopped greens over half the mixture and flip up the bottom to cover the greens. In the empty area of the pan, return the bacon to reheat.
  • Remove and plate when eggs are done to your taste.

2 thoughts on “Bitter Greens

  1. I understand what you mean. In the winter I crave comfort foods. One that I like is pasta with pesto sauce. I use walnuts, pine nuts, garlic, arugula, nutmeg, salt, pepper, olive oil, and Romano. I hope you will enjoy it.

  2. Great idea! Pasta is a wonderful comfort food. Pesto can be made with any green and nut. We’ll have to try your combination with walnuts, pine nuts and arugula. Perhaps this pesto could top spaghetti squash too, cutting calories and adding vitamin C and B6.