What Does Arugula Taste Like?

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In this article, we’ll be telling you all about arugula. You’ll know what it tastes like, how to make it super tasty, and a few other details about storing and preparing it. Then we’ll get to the recipes.

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Let’s dive in…

What Does Arugula Taste Like? 

Sometimes called arugula and sometimes called rocket, this leafy vegetable belongs to the flavor family of strong, bitter greens. However, its bitterness is milder than, say, collard greens.

The main feature of arugula is its spicy, peppery punch. This zesty green can add oomph to any salad or vegan pizza.

Is Baby Arugula Bitter? 

Bitterness is not its number one trait. 

All types of arugula are going to have at least some bitterness, but it’s true that baby arugula is milder. The more mature leaves are usually more pungent.

The bitterest leaves are said to be wild. But if you love the spicy bite, these will give you the most reward. Check your local grocery store or farmers market for wild arugula. 

Arugula Texture 

Raw arugula has a tender texture similar to spinach, though it looks more like dandelion greens with long, thin stalks and wispy leaves. 

It wilts easily when heat is applied, so if you cook it, aim to cook it gently. It’ll even wilt just slightly if placed on top of a plate of hot food, which is customary with this crisp-tasting green.

How Do You Get the Bitterness Out of Arugula? 

For bitter greens, you can always use lemon juice to tame harsh flavors. This works especially well for arugula as it complements the pepperiness.

Light sauteing can help, too. Sometimes it’s just the rawness of the arugula that’s the problem. Use a little garlic, olive oil and vegetable stock (and a squeeze of lemon if you like) to soften sharp arugula.

How Do You Know If Arugula Has Gone Bad? 

It’s pretty easy to tell when it’s time to say goodbye to a withering bunch of arugula. It will start to look limp and weepy and develop dark brown to black spots.

What you want is light, dry, healthy-looking bunch with a pretty uniform emerald green color (no dark edges or patches).

You also want it to smell appetizing. If it smells spicy, that’s a good thing, but if it smells sour or particularly earthy, it’s probably on its way out.

Arugula Serving Tips 

Arugula is an accommodating plant. It doesn’t need any special attention in that you can just toss it on top of what you’re eating or build a basic salad with it. But you can do more. Much  more. These videos will show you how.

Orange partners up with the peppery arugula in this vegan pesto to make a bold, refreshing dip or pasta sauce.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Orange
  • Pine nuts
  • Avocado oil
  • Sea salt
  • Arugula

Sweet pears and fresh arugula = an unbeatable combination.

Here are the fixings for this salad:

  • Walnuts
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Arugula
  • Fennel bulb
  • Pears
  • Celery

Wrap Up 

This peppery green is wonderful raw or gently wilted. Let it jazz up your everyday meals and use it like lettuce in sandwiches and salads or on top of your plate as an edible garnish with a kick. Or make vegan arugula pesto with citrus, basil or cilantro for a vibrant dinner. Bonus: You’ll feel like a bona fide chef.