Spring is here, and with it comes a newfound sense of hope and a whole slew of new seasonal fruits and vegetables to enjoy! After filling our plates and bellies with root veggies all winter long, it’s time to enjoy lighter and more refreshing options like peas, beans, and leafy greens. This month, arugula hogs our seasonal spotlight.
Leafy greens are often interchangeable; if you don’t have one for a particular recipe, you can add another without changing the flavor too much. But arugula is different because it has a truly unique taste. It’s spicy and peppery, adding some bite to meals along with a whole whack of nutrients.
High Nutritional Value
Arugula, also known as roquette, garden rocket, or Italian cress, is high in calcium, folate, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
The green is low in calories, sugar, fat, and carbs but extremely high in fiber, making it an excellent option for clean eating fanatics and weight control or loss. Arugula is also said to be a superfood for cancer prevention.
Easy To Grow
Arugula is a fun crop for gardeners who like to keep growing throughout the colder months. This leafy green is frost-tolerant and does well in temperate climates, thriving under snow, row covers, and in unheated greenhouses.
Sow seeds as soon as the soil is workable in the late winter or early spring. Arugula is fast growing and will reach maturity in 45-60 days, but you can harvest the younger leaves within a month!
After harvest, you can plant more arugula in the late summer and early fall, but it’s a good idea to keep it protected from the intense heat of the sun and place it below tall-growing crops like tomatoes and cucumbers.
Check out Misilla Dela Llana’s Four-Season Food Gardening for more growing tips!
Toss arugula with anything you typically enjoy in a salad; cherry tomatoes, shredded carrot, beets, or cucumber.
Try it as an alternative to lettuce on burgers and sandwiches. It’s yummy in a quiche or on top of pizza, and arugula pesto is also phenomenal.
If you can handle a little zing, arugula is the perfect way to spice up your springtime meals.