In Season: Arugula

This leafy green is part of the cabbage family. Sure you’ve had it in a salad, but there is more to learn about this spicy green and lots more creative ways to prepare it.
Related To:

Chicken Piccata

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

This leafy green is part of the cabbage family. Sure you’ve had it in a salad, but there is more to learn  about this spicy green, plus lots of creative ways to prepare it.

What, Where, When?

Arugula ( Eruca sativa, Cruciferae) is also known as rocket, roquette, rugula, Italian cress and recola. Although arugula is commonly added to mesclun mixtures, it’s actually a member of the cabbage family.  This green leafy veggie resembles radish leaves and has a bitter and  peppery mustard flavor. The small, younger leaves are often milder.

Arugula grows quickly in cool climates and is harvested when it’s young. Peak season for this green goodie is early spring and fall.

Nutrition Facts

A half cup of fresh arugula provides 2 calories, folate and vitamins A and C. It contains 14 percent of your daily vitamin K requirements and a boatload of lutein, an antioxidant that helps maintain healthy eyes, skin and heart.

What To Do With Arugula

Arugula makes a delicious addition to salads or mixed greens and tastes great with vinaigrettes. It can add freshness and burst of green to soups, sauteed vegetable dishes, quiches, stir fries, pizza and pasta. When cooked, arugula wilts like spinach and the flavor mellows out. It can also be used raw in place of basil for a spicier pesto.

Shopping Tip: Arugula is sold in bunches with the roots attached or in loose bins. Look for fresh, bright green leaves. Store fresh arugula wrapped tightly in a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for no longer than 2 days. Wash thoroughly before using.

Recipes To Try:

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

You Might Also Like:

Keep Reading

Next Up

Arugula and Watermelon Salad — Meatless Monday

In true Barefoot Contessa fashion, Ina Garten takes the traditional salad to the next level in her go-to salad, featuring a craveable combination of peppery greens and juicy, seasonal fruit.

Grapefruit-Arugula Salad — Meatless Monday

Learn how to improve your salad game with this fresh pick from Food Network Magazine.

Make Your Own Babaganoush

In the Middle East it’s traditional to find babaganoush with appetizers like hummus, tahini, pita bread and olives. Here's how to make your own.

Perfecting the Healthy Pasta Salad

It seems like no cookout would be complete without a pasta salad. Everyone has their favorite recipe -- some lighter than others. Avoid the common pitfalls and keep your mix nutritious and delicious with our tips and recipes.

Keeping Seasonal Salads Healthy

Spring is in the air and fresh spring produce is in your market. What better way to celebrate National Salad Month by creating crunchy and refreshing seasonal salads? Here are some ideas and tips to keep in mind when preparing your next masterpiece.

1 Base Salad Dressing: 3 Ways to Use It

Start with GZ's go-to vinaigrette, then dress it up with additional ingredients for bold flavors and textures.

Deconstructed Falafel Salad — The Weekender

Treat yourself to a week of delicious lunches by making the components for The Kitchen's Deconstructed Falafel Salad.

Travel Tips For Turkey Day

You’ve been asked to bring along food to Thanksgiving dinner—this can get tricky, especially if you’ve got a long car or train ride ahead of you. Here are some things to consider before you make your final decision on what to tote along.

How to Build a Healthier Potato Salad

Traditional versions of potato salad are drowning in gobs of full-fat mayonnaise. Let the flavor of this tuber shine by making a lightened-up potato salad using these simple steps.