Rockin’ ”˜Rugula

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Zesty greens are here! The tender leaves of arugula  (Eruca sativa) are  alive with the energy of spring. Arugula, or roquette, is a distinctive,  somewhat peppery green. It’s very versatile and can be used fresh in  salads, mashed for pesto, thrown on top of a pizza, or sautéed and  tossed into a pasta sauce.

Arugula, a wild herb, is easy to cultivate and is often grown by home  gardeners. It enjoys the cool spring weather, and the first crop is  usually mild and tender. You may notice how its flavor changes  throughout its growing season, getting more peppery and robust  as the weather turns warmer. The flowers that appear in the warmer  weather can also be used in salads.

Like most greens, arugula is low in calories and rocks the pops in  antioxidants. It’s rich in many essential vitamins like A and C, folic acid,  calcium, manganese, and magnesium. It’s also a very good source of  potassium, iron, zinc, riboflavin, and copper. At 4 calories per cup and  around a half-gram of carbs, you can afford to dress arugula up in rich  rock-star salad dressings with sparking grapefruit or toasted pine nuts  and Parmesan cheese for a power-chord finale.

Preparation: To prepare, simply wash and spin the leaves. Some  people prefer to de-stem the leaves, others find the stems quite tasty.  It’s a personal preference.

Storage: Arugula is tender and should be eaten as soon as possible.  Store your arugula in the refrigerator with a moist paper towel inside  a loose plastic bag.



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