Arugula Is Leafy Green with a Wealth of Nutrition


Bowl of Leafy Arugula

Arugula, or Eruca sativa, also known as rocket or roquette, is a salad herb from the same family as cabbage.  It is common in French, Italian and other Mediterranean cuisines.  It grows as a native plant from Portugal, all the way around the Mediterranean Sea to Morocco.  It is now grown all over the world as a popular salad plant, and for good reason.

Arugula has a wealth of nutrition, being high in vitamin C and vitamins A, K and potassium.  It also contains a good amount of folate, magnesium, and calcium.  It is essentially devoid of calories, fat, and carbs. It is used in a wide variety of ways in the Mediterranean diet.  Its peppery flavor makes it a flavorful addition to pasta dishes and adds a bit of punch and variety to salads.  It makes a beautiful puree, and is also good used as a bed of greens to put hot grilled or roasted meats on. 

It's peppery juices mingle with the caramelized meat juices, making a lovely combination.  It is a common pizza and flatbread topping, being added at the very end of cooking, or just as the pizza is removed from the oven, wilting it only lightly.   It is excellent in eggs.  It is good in soups and smoothies, and wilted in a cooked dish on its own.  It cuts the richness of foods and adds a green quality.   Arugula is even made into a type of digestive alcohol, made to improve digestion after a meal, similarly to ouzo. 

Arugula is easy to grow, and can join thyme and basil in a kitchen garden.  It is also widely available in supermarkets, bagged, or in lettuce boxes alongside spinach.  It is economical and adds a great variety to the leafy green portion of a healthy diet.

 

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