This delicate, peppery green brightens up salads and dressings with its punchy flavor, ranging from mild to pungent throughout the year.
Flavor profile: Peppery, spicy, nutty, tangy. Young leaves are milder, sweeter, and more tender, while larger leaves tend to have a stronger pungence. Mellows when cooked. Popular in Italian cuisine.
Uses: Salads, pesto, can substitute for spinach or escarole. Saute as a side. Sprinkle on top of Neapolitan-style pizza. Add to soups or pasta. Layer on sandwiches.
Pairs with: Cheeses, pears, honey, citrus, melon, pine nuts, strawberries, anchovies, meat
Storage: Wrap loosely in paper towels and place in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Will keep for a 3 - 10 days. Wash right before using.
Other names: rocket, rucola, roquette
Nutrients: Arugula is high in calcium, iron, polyphenols, glucosinolates, and vitamins A, C, and K.
History: A member of the brassica family, arugula is native to the Mediterranean and has been cultivated since ancient Roman times.
Why it's a great crop: thrives in difficult conditions, resistant to weed pressure, repels pests, can grow in cold weather, can grow with limited water.