One version of an arugula salad contains 2 bunches of washed, dried and torn arugula; 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil; the juice of 1/2 lemon; thinly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; and freshly ground salt and black pepper. To prepare the salad, place the arugula in a serving bowl, and drizzle it with the oil. Then, squeeze the lemon juice over the ingredients, sprinkle on the seasonings, toss the ingredients well, and taste. Adjust the seasonings, and top them with Parmigiano.
Also known as rucola and rocket, arugula is a green leafy vegetable with nutritious cancer-fighting benefits similar to other cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, watercress, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Arugula contains high levels of dietary nitrate, which lowers blood pressure and enhances oxygen delivery to muscles during exercise. The vegetable contains chlorophyll, which blocks the cancer-causing effects of heterocyclic amines, the chemical compounds that high-temperature food grilling produces.
Approximately 2 cups of arugula provide 1 gram of protein, about 10 calories and 64 milligrams of calcium, a nutrient essential for bone health. In terms of daily requirements, 2 cups of arugula provides more than 50 percent of the necessary vitamin K; 20 percent of vitamin A; and 8 percent each of vitamin C, calcium and folate.
Tender and featuring a peppery flavor, arugula mixes well with romaine and watercress and cooks faster than collards and kale. Consumers should refrigerate arugula and eat it in within three or four days.