Rucola

Binomial name: Eruca sativa

It is an annual plant, with thick and ramified root. The flowers are grouped in pendants lengthened and they are whitish or yellowish.

Origin: this species is native to South Europe and West Asia. The rucola has been cultivated in the Mediterranean from the Roman period, where it was harvested in the wild. However, its expansion is very recent, since it began to produce it on a large scale and to subject to scientific investigation in the mid-1990s.

Medicinal values: it is rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant; and iron, very good for anaemia. In Greece, rucola is recommended to prevent digestive problems.

Caloric value per 100 g: 31 kcal

Varieties: although more and more people knows rucola, Italians differentiate it between two varieties, rucola and annual wall-rocket.

Curiosities: the Romans considered it aphrodisiac.