Most people would be surprised to learn about the connections between some of our favorite foods. Some connections, such as the relation between cauliflower and broccoli, are much more obvious. Others aren’t so clear.
Arugula and cilantro are an example of two plants where it isn’t immediately obvious whether or not they’re related. If you’re wondering whether arugula is related to cilantro, you’ve discovered the right page, because we’ll be writing about the relation (if any) between these kitchen giants.
Quick Answer: Is Arugula Related to Cilantro?
Differences and Similarities
Most of the things arugula and cilantro have in common are visual. They’re both green and leafy plants that are common elements in salads.
Cilantro, also known as coriander, is renowned for its bright, almost minty odor and taste. Arugula, on the other hand, has a spicy, zesty kick that makes it a popular component to salads that would otherwise taste lackluster.
The variety of things they can be used for differs, as well. Arugula is mostly limited to culinary uses, and is by far most well-known for its frequent appearance in salads. However, it does get sprinkled on pizzas and in pastas occasionally.
Cilantro is used in a much larger variety of foods. The leaves are used in things like salads and salsa. The seeds are used in pickling veggies, brewing some kinds of beers, and as snacks themselves. Interestingly, coriander seeds were also used in the earliest iterations of Coca-Cola.
More on the Apiaceae and Brassicaceae Families
Let’s take a closer look at the families that these tasty plants come from. Although they’re not related to each other, you might be surprised to know what else they are related to.
We’ll start by giving you an overview of arugula’s family, Brassicaceae. This is also referred to as the “mustard family,” because it includes mustard. However, you’ll also find broccoli, cauliflower, and radish in this family tree.
It’s a pretty large group, consisting over just over 4,000 plant species. Most of them grow on land, but there are a few exceptions that can be found in fresh water.
Cilantro is a member of the apiaceae family. If it went to a family reunion, you’d find celery, carrots, cumin, fennel, and dill there, too.
It includes over 3,700 kinds of plants, and the uses for them are very differentiated. Many are used in the kitchen, like carrots and celery. Others are frequently used for their aromatic properties because of their essential oils, like dill.
While arugula and cilantro may not be related, we still enjoy both of them. Despite their lack of formal relation, one thing they definitely have in common is a powerful taste that maximizes the flavor of any dish.
That’s why there are plenty of recipes taking advantage of both their unique tastes simultaneously, such as this pasta.
If you’d like to learn more about arugula, you can find out where it comes from here.