Scientifically known as Eruca Sativa, Rucola is the name given to several cabbage relatives originating from the Mediterranean region. Rucola is characteristically intense green and pungent with a full, nutty and almond-like ‘meaty’ character deriving from various aldehydes.
With nutty and almond-like aromas merged with cabbagey, mustardy and horseradish-ilike volatiles, Rucola has a rather mild-bitter taste deriving from the mustard oil glycoside.
As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, Rucola provides many of the same benefits as Broccoli, Kale, and Brussel Sprouts such as delaying or impeding cancer, detoxifying enzymes in the body and preventing liver and DNA damage.
Rucola is highly versatile, it can be simply dressed with salt and olive oil; is delicious cooked, or even added as a herb to cooked dishes. For instance, it's very enjoyable thinly sliced and added to risotto and it adds an unexpected silky peppery flavour to soups and stews.