To find out all there is to know about vegetables, health and nutrition.
Scientific NameEruca sativa (Brassicaceae family)
The name rocket comes from the Italian "rochetta".
It is a wild lettuce with long, straight soft green leaves and a dark red stem.
Young de rocket shoots have a hazelnut taste, while the older leaves have a pungent, slightly bitter flavour. Its seeds are used as a condiment and produce a flavoursome oil.
Vegetable garden: growing rocket
The annual rocket can be sown in the garden from March to September, as a cropping salad. It disappears with the arrival of the first frosts.
The hardy variety is sown between April and August in exposed or partly shady conditions, and will remain for several years. This salad with its classic taste can be harvested 3 to 5 weeks post sowing.
It is produced in Italy and France.
The growing popularity of Mediterranean cuisine has boosted rocket’s reputation. Rocket is now eaten across Europe, even in the North.
Nutritional values (per 100 g)
* Data testudomaniac.com ** Recommended Daily Intake
Rocket is rich in calcium, which is quite rare.
It also contains iron and vitamin C.
Renowned for its high erucic content, which can be toxic in large doses, it features widely in salads across south America. In southern Europe, it is eaten as part of mixed salads.
When it comes to portions...?
- a child portion : one handful
- an adult portion : two handfuls
Cooking and nutrition: tasty combinations
Rocket is mostly eaten in salads, mixed or by itself. It provides a pungent note to tartare and carpaccio dishes.
It also goes well with goat’s cheese. It is very popular in Italy, where it is used as a topping on pizzas, in pasta and risotto dishes.
Here are a few of the most tasty and nutritional dishes:
- Rocket salad with Parmesan: A harmonious blend of rocket, chopped tomatoes and grilled pine nuts, shavings of Parmesan, sprinkled with a good quality oil and lemon juice; this salad offers a tasty cocktail of vitamins, calcium and essential fatty acids.
- Rocket and prawn salad with lemon: Rocket is combined with a confit of red peppers, some shelled prawns and lemon to bring out the iodized and marine flavours. It’s also a great source of vitamins C and pro-A, proteins and trace elements.
The acidic flavour of rocket is the ideal match for grilled red meats. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice mixed with water and some white pepper.
Rocket is traditionally used as an appetite stimulant and for its digestive properties. A source of vitamin C, it helps the body to assimilate the iron in red meat. The perfect combination of taste and nutrition!