If you took romaine leaves and arugula leaves, then laid them on a table next to each other, you’d notice how similar they look.
Romaine lettuce, like arugula, has a wavy border around its leaves that almost looks like spines. With arugula, this spiny effect is even more pronounced, with several distinct lobes on each leaf.
It’s no wonder that some get them mixed up. The purpose of this article is to clear up some confusion about whether arugula is romaine.
Quick Answer: Is Arugula Romaine?
The Differences and Similarities Between Arugula and Romaine
The visible similarities may very well be where the similarities between arugula and romaine end. Like we mentioned in the beginning, both of them are green and have pointy edges.
However, even their physical looks differ enough to tell them apart. With arugula, the edges of the leaves have much deeper lobes with a rounded end. In comparison, romaine has a more even edge with waves that are shallower.
Take a bite into either one of them, and you’ll notice their tastes are quite different, too. Arugula is renowned for having a spicy and zesty flavor that makes it a star in salads around the world.
Romaine’s flavor is significantly milder. It has some bitter undertones to it, but the taste isn’t as pungent as that of arugula. The thick stems in the middle of each leaf also add a bigger crunch than you’ll get from arugula leaves, which could be a plus for you if texture is important.
Read Also: What Does Arugula Taste Like?
Which One Should You Eat More?
In a direct comparison between arugula and romaine, which one should you eat?
It depends on what kinds of factors you’re considering. When it comes to taste, you’ll like arugula more if you like the taste of paper. On the opposite side, though, you’ll prefer romaine if you don’t like spicy flavor profiles.
But what about in terms of healthiness? This study by the Harvard Health Publishing site compared some of the healthiest salad greens and found that romaine is more nutrient-dense.
In other words, romaine has more nutrients per cup than arugula. So if you’re looking to get the most vitamins and nutrients possible out of your salad, romaine lettuce is the superior choice.
However, there’s no rule saying you can’t have both of them in one dish. We actually found a tempting salad recipe using romaine, arugula, and avocado here.
Arugula and romaine are both delicious and nutritious vegetables. Despite some limited visual similarities, though, they are completely different species. This just goes to show you that the old adage is true: you can’t judge a book by the cover.Looking for more info on arugula? Take a look at our article about arugula’s growing conditions.