Like most members of the lettuce family, Arugula is at its sweetest and tastiest during the spring, with its peak season lasting from March until early September. This versatile green is native to the Mediterranean and has been on dinner plates since the first century A.D. where it was consumed by the Greek and Roman elite. It was originally domesticated for a variety of uses ranging from food, medicine, to even an aphrodisiac. According to Health.com “trace minerals and antioxidants packed into the dark, leafy greens help block the absorption of environmental contaminants thought to negatively impact our libido”. The cruciferous vegetable is also fermented and used as an alcoholic digestive due to its high sulfur levels which aid digestion and detoxification. When picking arugula, check for long, slender leaves with a vibrant green color (younger leaves are more tender with a sweeter taste) and check for leaves that are deeply notched or oval-shaped. These dark green, peppery leaves work equally well in salads, as a cooked green, in soups, pesto or as a bed for roasted or grilled meats or fish as in Laurent Gras’s Spanish Mackerel with White Beans and Arugula entree.
Get recipes, tips, stories and more on the Alta Editions blog