Arugula—an aromatic salad green popular in Italian cuisine—is also known as rocket, roquette, rugula, and rucola.
Like most salad greens, arugula is very low in calories and is high in vitamins A and C.
In Roman times, arugula seeds were used for flavoring oils and as an ingredient in aphrodisiac preparations. Romans typically served a salad of arugula, romaine, chicory, mallow, and lavender, seasoned with a cheese sauce.
In honor of the green's long Italian history, we've included a recipe for arugula pesto.
Smoked Salmon and Mixed Pea Pasta
Adapated from a recipe by Chrissy Freer in Australian Good Taste, November 2006, Page 49.
12 oz spaghetti
12 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/2 cup snow peas, trimmed, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 bunch arugula (rocket), ends trimmed, chopped
6 oz smoked Sockeye Salmon (Nova Lox), thinly sliced
- Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted boiling water following packet directions. Add the sugar snap peas and snow peas in the last 1 minute of cooking. Drain and return to pan.
- Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, lemon rind and juice, dill, chives and parsley in a bowl. Add to the pasta and gently toss to combine. Season with pepper.
- Divide the arugula among serving bowls. Top with pasta and smoked salmon to serve.
1 bunch arugula, stems removed (about 4 oz)
2 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
Organic black pepper to taste
- Fill a large bowl with ice and add water, set aside.
- Fill a medium sized saucepan with water and the 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and bring it to a boil. Add the arugula and as soon as the water returns to a boil, remove the arugula with a slotted spoon and place it immediately into the ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Transfer the arugula to several layers of paper toweling or clean kitchen towels and allow to drain. Roll up the towels and squeeze as much moisture as possible from the arugula.
- Place the arugula in a blender jar and add the oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the pepper and puree until the mixture looks like thick pesto. There will be a small amount of oil on the surface.
- Use immediately or transfer the mixture to a jar with a tight fitting lid if you are going to store it. This will keep for at least 5 days, refrigerated. Before using, stir the pesto to incorporate the oil accumulated at the top.
- Serve the pesto over some freshly cooked pasta or boiled potatoes.