What is it?

Arugula is a peppery, distinctive-tasting green that originated in the Mediterranean region. It’s also known as rucola, salad rocket, and Italian cress. Arugula is a member of the Brassica, or Cruciferous, family. This classification includes mostly cruciferous vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, and broccoli.

What does it taste like?

Unlike many subtler-tasting salad greens, arugula’s highly distinctive and peppery crunch adds flair to salads and other cold dishes. Like parsley, it can be chewed to help combat sour breath.

What to do with it?

Arugula can be used in addition to, or in lieu of, most types of lettuce and herbs as well as an alternative to basil to make pesto. Arugula’s flowers, seeds, and leaves are all edible. It is delicious raw, and it can be used as a healthy add-on topping for pizza, nachos, sandwiches, and wraps. Serve Arugula as a side salad with nothing more than a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. It also makes an excellent base for more substantial salad recipes. Try adding cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken, and walnuts to arugula for a protein-packed, low-calorie meal. Arugula’s leaf shape and taste also make it an interesting complement to citrus fruit and berry salads. When arugula is cooked, it loses some of its peppery punch, becoming mellower in taste.

How to store it?

Rinse the leaves in cool water and spin dry or use paper towels. Wrap leaves in a paper towel and wrap in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Best if used within a few days. Freezing: To freeze arugula, follow the same procedure you would with other greens, like spinach.