A leafy green that packs a punch!
Variously called “rocket” by the British and Australians, “roquette” by the French, and “rucola” by the Italians, arugula is native to the Mediterranean region, where it was once believed to have aphrodisiac qualities by the ancient Romans and Egyptians. Still a favorite in Italian dishes, arugula’s peppery, mustard-like flavor tastes best when eaten raw (a classic example being light salad with shaved parmesan) or slightly cooked (topping a prosciutto pizza fresh out of the oven). Full of vitamins A and C, and iron, arugula is a bright addition to any summer meal, pairing well with a wide variety of food, from pasta to seafood to fresh veggies.
Choose bright or deep green leaves with no sign of wilting. Smaller leaves generally have a milder flavor than larger leaves, and arugula grown in the field (versus a greenhouse) will have a stronger flavor. Wash well to remove any sand or dirt, and cut off stems and any yellowed leaves before eating. Store arugula in the crisper wrapped in a damp paper towel, inside a slightly open plastic bag, and use within 1-2 days.