Remember a few years back, when we were suddenly able to buy bags of very interesting, tiny lettuces sometimes called mesclun greens. They were light, tender, rather pretty for a lettuce and an unusual treat. In most of those bags, one of the lettuces was arugula, or salad rocket, or rugula or colewort. This is but a few of the names arugula answers to.
This little lettuce has a lot of character. Some use it for a palate cleanser, others merely describe it as having a sharp bite, pleasantly bitter, rather peppery, even a bit mustard-like. At any rate, arugula became a welcome newcomer to the few lettuces we were making-do with.
Salad rocket is native to the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal in the west to Lebanon and Turkey in the east. The early Romans used the leaves as well as argula seeds for flavoring oil.
As with most lettuces, arugula is low-calorie and rich in Vitamins A and C.
Select bright greens with no yellowing or withering. Wrap loosely in wet paper towel zipped in an air-tight plastic bag. Store in crisper and use soon after purchase.
Brazilians like arugula in salads with mozzarella cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.
Arugula sprouts in salads
Foodsites with recipes for arugula: