Name: Arugula, Eruca sativa, also known as rocket.
Origins: Originally, in the Mediterranean in the era of the Roman Times, Arugula was grown as an herb amongst parsley and basil. Now it is regularly used as a salad green, like in this Zucchini, Asparagus, and Arugula Green Salad. Arugula, however, it is technically a member of the cabbage family and is related to kale, cauliflower, and broccoli.
Peak Season: Arugula is a cool season green; spring and fall.
Prep: Arugula has a distinct, peppery flavor, and is a favorite of the spring greens available this time of year. The younger, smaller leaves tend to have a milder flavor. There are many creative ways to use arugula besides in your everyday salad. When cooked, it wilts similarly to spinach, so it’s great in risotto and pasta dishes like Spicy Tomato-Arugula Angel Hair. It is also a great add-in for soups, or as the star like in this Arugula Soup recipe. It’s unique flavor is also great used to make to pesto, which is wonderful in spring when common herbs such as basil aren’t quite in season yet.
Here are some of our favorite recipes featuring arugula: