What Is Rocket Lettuce?

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Rocket lettuce is a leafy, green and edible plant that also has other names, such as roquette, salad rocket, rugula and arugula. It is an annual plant that originated in the Mediterranean region. Its scientific name is Eruca sativa.

It is a member of the Brassicaceae family that also includes other vegetables like kale and mustard greens. Arugula is a salad green that has a piquant flavor. It is a source of vitamins C and A.

Since ancient Roman times, people grew this plant for both its leaves and seeds. The seeds were useful for preparing flavored oils and as an aphrodisiac. However, its main use was for salads. Lettuce rocket also can be added to stews, burgers and pasta. If one does not have these salad greens for a specific recipe, then a person can substitute watercress.