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This leafy green was first noted long ago, back in the 1st century A.D., but somehow only became popular in the US in the mid-1990s.

Appearance & Flavor

You’re probably familiar with arugula, a bright green leafy vegetable with a white-green stem. Its strong flavor and aroma are often compared to that of pepper with a hint of mustard and nuts. If it’s too mature, you’ll taste a more bitter flavor. Avoid wilted or yellowed arugula leaves.

Ways to Enjoy

You may not think adding arugula to your salsa would give it a kick, but try this technique. Enjoy it raw, or cook it for a more mild flavor. Use arugula in sauces, soups, salads, and as a pizza topping, or you can sauté or steam it. Have a recipe that calls for spinach? Substituting arugula will kick it up a notch in the peppery flavor department.

Availability & Origin

Though arugula peaks from late spring to early fall, it does grow all year long. On the west coast, Arizona grows it from fall to spring and then California takes over from spring into summer. Along the East Coast, New York grows the bulk of the arugula from May to September.


Uncut arugula will keep if wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag or air-tight container in the fridge for 10 days. When already prepared, store the arugula in an air-tight container for about two days of use.