Produce Spotlight on Arugula
Arugula is a European salad green that provides an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps stop bleeding. Arugula, also known as salad rocket or roquette, has tender, bite-sized leaves with a tangy flavor. Arugula can be eaten raw or cooked.
Shopping for Arugula
Look for fresh leaves that show no signs of wilting or spoiling. Buy the amount you can use within about a week. Check a farmers’ market or farm- stand for locally grown arugula in June through October. If you are purchasing arugula at the grocery store, look at the container or bag for the “best if used by” date. Some greens are labeled “prewashed” or “ready-to-eat.”
Arugula Coltivata – grows quickly in 30 days with large leaves. The leaf shape and flavor respond to changing temperatures. It gets spicier as the weather gets hotter.
Arugula Selvatica – known as wild arugula: has smalle depthly serrated leaves and a stronger flavor than coltivata. It is popular on sandwiches.
Storage and Preparation
- Store arugula unwashed in the refrigerator. Cover greens with a damp paper towel in an open container or a plastic bag with holes for air circulation.
- Wash arugula before eating. Swish leaves in a bowl of cold water to release any dirt. Repeat in clean water until no grit is visible. A salad spinner is a good tool for gently drying leaves. If you do not have one, gently pat the leaves dry with a towel to avoid bruising them.
- Green salads can be prepared a day before serving, but dress the arugula just before serving to keep the leaves from getting soggy.
- Use arugula in a salad on its own or mixed with other greens. It pairs well with a vinaigrette dressing to balance the peppery taste.
- Dress arugula with fresh lemon juice and add on top of your pizza.
- Toss a handful of arugula into your hot soup just before serving.
- Add to pasta dishes or on top of sandwiches.
1 cup = about 2 cupped handfuls
Using Locally Grown Produce
For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website https://extension.umass.edu/nutrition/recipes/. To locate places to buy local produce, visit https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-grownand-fresher.