Wild Italian Arugula
Arugula, AKA rocket, roquette, and rucola is native to the Mediterranean and a popular herb with the French and Italians especially. It was brought to the United States by European immigrants during the mid-1800s and though it is a popular salad green and herb in many restaurants, it is not well known among the general American populace. This plant has a delicious peppery flavor that is a perfect accent for goat cheese. It can be sautéed to a slightly wilted state and holds its own with garlic. The Wild Italian variety has a stronger peppery flavor than its more common cousin, Arugula Roquette. Arugula loves the cold and hates the heat. It should be planted in the late winter and again in the early fall. In Hardiness Zones 6 and higher, it will probably last through the winter. In Hardiness Zones 5 and lower it will last until December or January. In the dreary days of late winter, a lunch/dinner of soup with a salad of arugula and goat cheese will chase away even the most persistent winter blues.