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:
In Season: Arugula

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:

Next Up

The Chef’s Take: Gerard Craft’s Orange Salad at Pastaria

Chef Gerard Craft's orange salad is the perfect antidote to winter!

The Chef's Take: Cabbage, Speck and Grape Salad at Eataly

Take a break from kale salads with this budget-friendly recipe for cabbage, celery root and speck.

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.

Why Side Salads Are the Best Salads — Sensational Sides

Leafy greens and everything that join them are anything but punishment. Next time you're on the hunt for a side dish, think of these glorious leafy side salads.

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.

Giada's Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella — Meatless Monday

Giada gives panzanella salad a twist by grilling the bread and artichokes. She combines tomato and basil for a delicious Italian dish that’s ready to eat in just 16 minutes.

Giada's Farro and Kale Salad — Meatless Monday

Upgrade your kale-salad game with Giada's easy Italian-inspired version with creamy goat cheese.