Thursday, November 13, 2014

Arugula or Garden Rocket

Arugula is also known as Garden Rocket and I have no idea how it got that name.  It is a green leafy vegetable of Mediterranean origin and may be used in many ways, not just in green or tossed salads.

The arugula is a cool-season, fast growing, crop that is best harvested before blooming although the blooms may be eaten too.  It takes 5 to 8 days for the arugula to germinate and about 35 days to harvest time.
The arugula is similar to mustard greens, spinach, and kale.  It looks very much like dandelion leaves.  The young tender leaves are sweet in flavor and less peppery or bitter in contrast to the more mature leaves.

I have used the arugula instead of lettuce in salads and on sandwiches.  It is a great source of vitamin A, C, and K.  I also use the arugula in soups and strews treating it pretty much like spinach.

As with leafy green, the arugula is somewhat difficult to keep fresh for a longer time in the fridge, but I understand that it may be blanched, cooled, and packed for the freezer.  I have to try this myself because I have a good crop that will mature faster than I can eat.

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