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