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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Arugula is not your average leafy green

Fresh arugula on plates with miscellaneous food in the background

With its surge in popularity, it’s likely that you have come across arugula, whether in the supermarket, at the local farmers market, or in a trendy restaurant. Arugula, also known as rocket, is a leafy green with a peppery taste. It appears most often in salads, usually in a mixture with other greens to balance out the spicy flavor. Arugula may also be sold as baby arugula, which simply means it is harvested when the leaves are still young, which helps lessen the punch of pepper. 

To use arugula, rinse the greens under cold water and pat dry or spin in a salad spinner. The fresh, tender leaves can be eaten raw in a salad, sandwich, or on top of pizza or eggs. It pairs well with citrus, such as orange, lemon and grapefruit and goes nicely with a strong cheese. While arugula is most often served raw, I recently had it cooked and was delighted with the flavor. It’s a bit more mellow, but still offers the hint of pepper. Use it in pasta or grain dishes, such as the quinoa recipe below. Arugula is rich in potassium, vitamins A, C, and K, as well as antioxidants. Pack a peppery punch with arugula!

About the Author


Jenna Smith is a Nutrition and Wellness Educator with University of Illinois Extension, serving Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties. Smith uses her experience as a registered dietitian nutritionist to deliver impactful information and cutting-edge programs to Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties and beyond.