Arugula is part of the cabbage family.  And you didn’t think you’d learn anything new about arugula!  It is also known as rocket and Italian cress.  The adult leaves have a peppery mustard flavor and the baby leaves are milder.  It is a fast growing cool season crop.  In the northeast it grows in the spring and fall.

Buying and storing arugula:

Arugula is often sold in bunches of either adult or baby leaves.  The arugula bunches with roots will stay fresh longer. Make sure the leaves are a bright green with no yellowing.  Although it is freshest in the cool seasons, it is available year round in the supermarkets  Arugula can be wrapped in damp paper towels and stored in a plastic bag in the fridge for several days. Be sure it is washed before serving.

Nutrition information: 

A half-cup of fresh arugula contains two calories.  Like its cousin kale, arugula is high in vitamin A.  It is also a good source for foliates, vitamin C – a natural anti-oxidant, the B-complex group of vitamins and vitamin K.

How to use arugula:

Arugula can be used in a multitude of ways.  It’s great in soups, stews, pasta dishes, salads and dips.  Here are a few of my favorite arugula recipes:

I love an arugula salad with sliced onion and shaved Parmesan cheese, a salad staple in Italy.


Arugula Pesto


Goat Cheese and Arugula over Penne


And my all-time favorite, Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad