General Information

The tender lobed leaves of arugula have a distinct peppery flavor.  When harvested young, arugula leaves can be used as an herb or salad leaf, and mature arugula also serves as a delicious cooking green.  It’s an incredibly versatile vegetable since it can be used raw or cooked and also works very well as a base for pesto.  Toss raw leaves with olive oil, lemon juice, shaved parmesan, salt, and pepper to create the classic Italian rucola salad.  Use arugula leaves as a bed for seafood or grilled meat, sprinkle into pasta or on top of pizzas for a distinctive crunch, or substitute for spinach or other greens in omlettes or quiches.  Arugula pairs well with bold flavors like citrus, beets, nuts, and intense cheese like chevre, blue, and parmesan. 

Arugula has been grown in the Mediterranean area since the Roman Empire and was considered an aphrodisiac. The seeds were also used for flavoring oils.  It is now cultivated in various places and is available throughout the world.  Arugula is a nutrient rich leafy green, and offers vitamins A, C, K, as well as calcium, folate, and potassium.  

Storing & Cooking Information

Handling: When ready to use, take as many stems as you need, and with mature arugula, discard the roots and about half of the stem.  Wash under running water then use as recipe directs.  Place the bunch of arugula in a bowl of water for about 15 minutes or until the grit has settled to the bottom of the bowl.  Drain the arugula in a colander and rinse the leaves again under cold running water.

Storing: Rinse the leaves in cool water and spin dry or use paper towels.  Wrap leaves in paper towel and wrap in plastic or a zip lock 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.  Wash and remove any damaged pieces.  Drop into boiling water for 2 minutes, cool them immediately in ice water, drain thoroughly and place in freezer bags.  Remove air from the bag (to prevent freezer burn) and place in your freezer.

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