Back to Basics: Arugula

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. arugula

Peak Season: Arugula is a cool season green; spring and fall.

Nutritional Value: High in potassium and vitamin A, C, and K. Arugula also has a good amount of lutein, which is good for your eyes and skin. Read here for more about the best foods for your skin.

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:

Arugula Salad with Watermelon Radish

Seared Duck Breast with Roasted Figs and Arugula

Warm Potato Salad with Arugula and String Beans

Penne with Brie, Mushrooms, and Arugula