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With more jagged and deeper lobed leaves, Wild arugula has a more intense pepper flavor than cultivated arugula. Its smooth, deep green leaves have a more pungent aroma than common arugula. Similar to the related watercress and cabbage, the bite in Wild arugula comes from iso¬thiocyanates, which are phytochemicals that neutralize carcinogens in the body.
Wild arugula is available from spring through autumn.
Wild arugula is a relative of cultivated arugula, though it is classified as a different subspecies. Diplotaxis tenuifolia is a fast-growing, cool season perennial that produces yellow flowers and can often be found clinging to cobblestone walls.
Use Wild arugula as an herb or a salad green. It can be eaten raw wilted, or cooked; however the flavor lessens when heated. Use as an herb to soups, stews and sauces. Add to pastas or risottos at the end to preserve the flavor or substitute for spinach in recipes for a spicier alternative. Its spice can be overpowering alone in salads, so pair with a variety of lettuces. Wild arugula should be used within a week of purchase; kept dry and refrigerated.
Most variations on the name for Wild arugula can be traced back to the Latin word eruca, which means a certain type of cabbage. In German, rauke or Italian rucola, this member of the Brassicaceae, or mustard family, is native to Italy. Wild arugula has been cultivated since the time of Roman antiquity. Italians immigrating to America brought over rucola as a culinary herb and the term was Americanized as ‘arugula’. Known in Britain as ‘wall rocket’, Wild arugula is also referred to as Sylvetta. Wild arugula is difficult to cultivate; it still most often grows wild in Italy and Southern and Central Europe. In the US, Wild arugula is grown by some smaller farms and occasionally appears at local farmers markets.
Recipes that include Wild Arugula. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Scrumpdillyicious||Beet, Avocado & Goat Cheese Salad with Wild Arugula|
|Five O'Clock Food||Beet Cured Salmon Gravlax with Wild Arugula Salad|
Someone spotted Wild Arugula using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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