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Arugula consists of vibrant green leaves attached to a pale creamy green hued stem. The leaves are lobed and can be harvested when young and mild in flavor or when fully mature at 3 or 4 inches in length. Arugula offers an herbaceous, peppery flavor with nuances of nuts and mustard. Leaves allowed to mature too long on the Arugula plant will become bitter in taste. The pungent flavor of Arugula is due to its high content of sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates.
Arugula is available year-round.
Arugula scientifically known as Eruca sativa is a member of the mustard or Brassicaceae family along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, mustard, radish and collard greens. Also known as Salad Rocket, Roquette, Italian Cress and Rucola, both the leaves and flowers of this annual herb are edible and most commonly used today as a salad green.