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No. 177: Roquette

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Known to us Americans as arugula—I don’t think it is generally loved in my native land. Mais, moi, I find it especially delicious. I am absolutely nutty for its pungent and spicy horseradish-like flavor. A member of the mustard family, the Italians call it ruchetta or rucola. The Greeks say roka. The Brits call it rocket. Superman calls it therapy, and has been growing it on our windowsills since January. Unfortunately two stormy February days knocked out the first crop, but the second crop is starting to take hold, and the third extra crop will be planted this weekend. Roquette is extremely easy and satisfying to grow, even in window boxes and it does well in the cooler spring weather.

It is brilliant with tomatoes, capsicum, radicchio, and shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano, or tossed with slices of pear and Bleu d’Auvergne. It makes a refreshing and tangy pesto accompaniment to meat, and is perfect sprinkled on goat cheese pizza, Italian bruschetta, or tucked into any sandwich.

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It is a fancy-pants cancer fighting food, a palate cleanser, and as an extra bonus, it is thought to be an aphrodisiac, said to “excite the sexual desire of drowsy people.” Hmmm…

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Maybe this tired mom should pick up an extra demi-kilo at the market tomorrow.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. I am so dense that, despite just recently putting together that roquette, rocket and arugula are the same thing, I never made the connection to the street. And I’m on that street quite a bit. Thanks for making me feel both dumber and smarter!

    http://leculentrelesdeuxchaises.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/roughage-rabies/

    March 20, 2014
    • You’re not dense, I couldn’t figure out what the heck “rocket” was when we first moved here either. But now I’m addicted to the stuff. Rue de la Roquette has a pretty interesting history. Check out this to learn more. Thanks for stopping by and for the comment.

      March 20, 2014
  2. Wow that salad looks good!!- am off to make Trevor pear and blue cheese salad for dinner!!
    Any hints on growing salad leaves in window boxes welcome

    March 21, 2014
    • Tips: Plant lots of seeds in good soil, water, place in full sunlight in the spring/partial in summer, and thin a bit if necessary. I like to pick it when it’s young.

      It’s an easy peasy crop, and such a minor investment if it doesn’t work out. Bonne chance.

      March 24, 2014
  3. Vandemonian Vagabond #

    A couple girlfriends and I were talking about rocket Friday night and one commented how she uses it for “filler” when her meal seems to sparse, since it is such a cheap and lucious greenery 🙂 Your blog is beautiful and fun, well done 🙂

    March 30, 2014
    • Thank you for the very kind comment. I started this blog mostly to force me to write every day, because I’m always happiest when I’m writing. The unexpected bonus has been (virtually) meeting all these cool and creative people. Thanks for reading and following. I really appreciate it. Nancy
      ps: Roquette rules!

      March 30, 2014

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