As a cool water plant, arugula is an ideal salad green for growing in Canada. It grows well in the early growing season (May through June) and the late season (September to November). In the hot summer, the leaves become too strong tasting.
Here are some things about lovely arugula that you might not know!
- Known also as rocket salad or garden rocket, arugula is classified as an herb and related to the mustard plant!
- Originally from the Mediterranean, the Romans claimed it was an aphrodisiac – so try it out ahead of a romantic evening!
- Fresh arugula is a very good source of folic acid, an important supplement for expectant mothers.
- Arugula is high in vitamin C and potassium, as well as many vital phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, and minerals that can immensely benefit health.
- For many years, this plant that grows wild in Italy and parts of Asia was ignored as just a weed, much like we think of dandelion plants.
- There is an Italian liqueur made with arugula called Rucolino.
Easy uses for arugula:
- Add arugula to heighten the flavour of any green salad.
- Sprinkle uncooked on top of pizza; let the heat wilt the leaves slightly and serve.
- Combine with sliced Bosc pears and shaved Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Add to a traditional grilled cheese before serving.
- Combine with dressing in potato salad for a nutritious and flavour-filled addition.
“Green Pizza” – a perfect summer treat
½ cup prepared pesto
2 cups chopped broccoli flowers
¼ cup water
5 ounces arugula chopped (about 6 cups)
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Prepared pizza dough
Spread pesto on dough or flatbread.
Cook broccoli in water until tender, add arugula and remove immediately from the heat.
Season with salt and pepper then spread broccoli/arugula mixture on top of pesto.
Cover with cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees f. for 8-10 minutes until crust is crisp.