Arugula (otherwise known as rocket, roquette, rugula and rucola) is a dark green salad leaf with a slightly bitter, mustardy, peppery flavor.
Arugula is a good choice of salad green to accompany a rich dish, because its sharp bite will cleanse the palate. (Arugula is a traditional component of mesclun greens, a common assortment of lettuces and other greens.) It can also be added to pasta, rice or vegetable dishes at the last minute or piled on a hot pizza, as it wilts quickly.
Arugula is a Mediterranean plant—the Romans claimed it was an aphrodisiac—that also grows wild in Asia and has become increasingly popular in the U.S. over the past decade.