Arugula is a European salad favorite that is now commonly grown around the world.

Arugula is an herb with similarities in use and taste to salad greens. The plant, traditionally an Italian favorite, originates in the Mediterranean, and belongs to the mustard family.

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.

Buying Tips

• 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).

Storage Tips

• 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.

Usage Tips

• 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.

• Puree and add to soups.

• Use as a pizza topping or combine with lettuce in sandwiches.

• Flower buds are also tasty when added to salads.

Substitution Tips

• Tender, young greens (spinach, mustard, etc.) or watercress.

Try one of our favorite arugula recipes:
Arugula-Tomato Topping
Arugula Pesto
Grilled Mahi with Arugula

Suggested Pairings

Beans, cheese, chicken, eggs, lentils, pasta, potatoes, tomatoes, vegetables