The leaves can be clipped individually or the whole plant can be harvested. The leaves taste best when the plant is young and can be harvested once they are 2-3 inches long.
When the plant begins flowering, arugula leaves become bitter… That’s when you know the plant is done and it’s time to replace it.
For ongoing harvests, cut off the outer leaves at a point close to the base once the leaves are large enough. You can also let the leaves grow and harvest them at full size when they’re 4 to 6 inches long. Larger leaves have a stronger flavor.
ORIGIN // Also called roquette, salad rocket, garden rocket, or rugula. Native to the Mediterranean, arugula has been cultivated for centuries and is even mentioned in the bible.
QUALITIES // As with most dark leafy greens, arugula is high in a variety of nutrients. High in vitamin C, A, K. High in calcium, potassium and folate. Good source of iron.
USE // Arugula has a nutty flavor, is very versatile and can be used fresh or cooked. It is great as a base in a mixed salad, in sandwiches, as topping on pizzas or omelets. Add it fresh on top of the dish when it is ready to serve.
Add cucumbers, garlic, and half cup of water in a blender and mix until smooth. Put in arugula, herbs, vinegar, and a large pinch of salt and purée, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed, until very smooth. With the blender on, slowly stream in oil; blend until emulsified. (The mixture will turn pale green and look creamy, almost like a salad dressing; add more oil and/or water if needed.) Taste gazpacho and season with more salt and vinegar as desired—you want it to be borderline too salty and acidic at room temperature. Transfer gazpacho to an airtight container; cover and chill until very cold, 4–12 hours.
Taste gazpacho and adjust with a little more salt and/or vinegar as needed just before pouring into chilled glasses.