R is for Rocket

rocketRocket, also known as arugula, rucola and wild or salad rocket, is a member of the Brassica family, along with kale and broccoli,writes our guest blogger, Dr Susan Aldridge, freelance writer and editor based in London, with an interest in medicine, health, science and food/nutrition. It is, therefore, one of the most nutritious of the green salad vegetables. It has a peppery taste which is great if you find other salad greens a bit bland.

Rocket is:
• Low in calories – a bag of rocket contains fewer than 25 calories.
• Like the other brassicas, rich in phytochemicals including the indoles, thiocyanates, isothiocyanates and sulforaphane – all of which have potent anti-cancer properties.
• A rich source of vitamins A, B, C and K.
Rocket is said to be easy to grow (it ‘rockets’ up) but I am guessing it needs a lot of sun, as the crop in my rather shady vegetable and herb bed has totally failed! It might not be too late to try sowing some in a sunny corner or even on your kitchen window sill.

Hot Green juice
Serves one
This is a powerful deep green juice with a marked peppery edge
Bag of rocket
Bunch of watercress
Handful of young spinach
One lemon
One inch of ginger, peeled
Juice all ingredients and drink immediately.
Rocket and summer berry juice
Serves one
Here the strong taste of the rocket contrasts with the sweetness of the berries – an ideal combination of vegetable and fruit in one juice.
50g or so of blueberries
100g of strawberries, raspberries or a mixture
One bag of rocket
One inch of ginger, peeled
One tbsp berry powder
Juice all ingredients and drink immediately

Rocket pesto
Serves two
Fresh pesto is so much nicer than bottled or carton versions. This has quite a strong taste, so you could substitute half the rocket for basil leaves for a milder and more traditional taste.
One bag of rocket
25g pine nuts or walnuts (or a mixture)
125g flax seed oil (or olive or other oil)
I made this in a Nutribullet, but you could also make it in a food processor. Serve over pasta and stir in some olives, capers and chopped chilli and garlic for extra flavour and sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan.

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