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Arugula is a European salad favorite that is now commonly grown around the world.
It is easy to grow, preferably in cool conditions, but will not have a long season.
• Also known as a leaf vegetable, arugula goes by many other names, including rocket, rocket salad, rugola, rucola, Italian cress, and gharghir.
• Oil from the seeds is extracted and sold as “jamba oil.”
• Sprouts may be available at some specialty markets.
• Always select young, green leaves with attached roots, which keep the plant fresh in transit. Discard all but the leaves before preparing. Mature plants will be tougher and hotter with a prounounced bitter taste, but are commonly included in cooked dishes.
• Arugula is also often packaged as a salad mix (mesclun).
• Do not rinse until ready to use. Wrap with a wet paper towel and seal in a plastic bag. Arugula is fragile and will not remain fresh long (about two days), even in the refrigerator.
• Freeze or dry the leaves for later use as a seasoning.
• To remove grit, fill a bowl with water and wash the leaves. Refill bowl as necessary until clean.
• Mix with greens and raw vegetables and top with a favorite salad dressing.
• When cooking, add to simmering dishes in the last five minutes to prevent loss of flavor.
• Flower buds are also tasty when added to salads.
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