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Arugula has been grown since Roman times, reputedly as an aphrodisiac, and is used widely in Italian cuisine. It's great as a salad ingredient, or simply eaten alone with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. In Italy, it is often wilted over hot pizza or in pasta just before serving. Ischia, an island in the Bay of Naples, has a traditional digestif liqueur made from arugula, called rucolino. Arugula pesto is made just like basil pesto, and is a good substitute when the weather is too cold for basil. Arugula survives low temperatures and is usually the first and last salad green in the garden. Under row cover, it will survive all but the coldest winters.
Arugula coltivata means cultivated Arugula. It is the quickest variety, ready to eat in about 30-40 days from direct sowing. In cool weather, the flavor is mild but as the temperature rises, so does the "peppery" flavor. It is best when picked in the baby to adolescent stage, 4 to 6 inches tall.
Sprinkle seeds about an inch apart. Replant frequently — every 2-3 weeks — for a long season of harvest. Our huge packets provide plenty of seed!