What to do when arugula flowers

Arugula (lat. Eruca vesicaria), also known as rocket, is a leafy green plant that is popular in Mediterranean cuisine. It has a peppery, fresh, and sometimes bitter taste and is often used in salads, pasta, and pizzas. While most people know about arugula’s delicious leaves, few are aware that it also produces flowers.

As a whole, Arugula is a versatile plant that can be used in many dishes, both before and after it flowers. Arugula typically starts to flower in the late spring or early summer, about 40-60 days after planting. The flowers themselves have a milder, sweeter taste than the leaves and can also be used in salads, as a garnish, or in cooked dishes.

This article will explore the arugula flowering process, its culinary uses, and whether it is still good to eat after it flowers.

Do Arugula plants flower?

Arugula is an annual plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family. Like most plants in this family, arugula produces small, four-petaled flowers that are either white or yellow. Arugula plants typically flower in the late spring or early summer, about 40-60 days after planting.

Factors that affect arugula flowering

Several factors can affect arugula’s flowering process.

The temperature plays a crucial role in determining when the plant will flower. Arugula prefers cooler temperatures and may bolt, or start to flower prematurely, in warmer weather.

The age of the plant can also influence its flowering process. Arugula plants that are older or have been exposed to stress, such as drought or insect damage, are more likely to flower earlier.

Timeline for arugula flowering

Arugula’s flowering timeline depends on the plant’s growing conditions. Generally, arugula plants will start to flower 40-60 days after planting if grown in ideal temperatures and conditions. However, if grown in warmer weather or exposed to stress, they may flower earlier.

Is arugula good after it flowers?

Changes in taste and texture of arugula after flowering

Arugula’s taste and texture can change once it starts to flower. The leaves become tougher and more fibrous, and the flavor can become more bitter. The flowers themselves have a milder, sweeter taste and can be eaten raw or cooked.

Nutritional value of arugula after flowering

Arugula is an incredibly nutritious plant, rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like calcium and iron. While the nutritional value of arugula doesn’t change much after flowering, it’s worth noting that the flowers contain higher levels of vitamin C than the leaves.

Factors to consider when using arugula after flowering

When using arugula after it has flowered, it’s important to consider its taste and texture. The tougher leaves may not be as suitable for raw salads, but they can still be used in cooked dishes or as a garnish. Additionally, the flowers can be harvested and used in salads, as a decorative touch on cakes, or as an edible garnish.

What do you do with flowered arugula?

Culinary uses for arugula after flowering

Arugula’s flowers and leaves can be used in a variety of culinary applications. Some popular uses include incorporating the leaves into pasta dishes, using them as a pizza topping, or sautéing them with garlic and olive oil. The flowers can be used as an edible garnish or added to salads for a pop of color and flavor.

Tips for harvesting and storing flowered arugula

Harvesting arugula after flowering is similar to harvesting the leaves before flowering. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when harvesting flowered arugula. The leaves may be a little bitter, so it’s best to use them in cooked dishes or sauté them before adding them to salads. It is also important to harvest the flowers before they start to wilt, as they can lose their flavor and texture quickly.

To harvest arugula flowers, simply snip the stems just below the base of the flower using a pair of sharp scissors. Avoid harvesting too many flowers from a single plant, as this can affect the plant’s ability to produce leaves. Instead, try to take a few flowers from each plant and stagger your harvests over time.

Once harvested, flowered arugula should be stored in a cool, dry place in the refrigerator. It’s best to use it within a few days, as the leaves and flowers can wilt quickly.

Final thoughts on arugula’s versatility and value

Arugula is a valuable plant for any home gardener or chef. Not only is it easy to grow, but it’s also incredibly versatile and nutritious. Whether you’re using the leaves in salads or incorporating the flowers into your dishes, arugula is a great way to add flavor and nutrition to your meals. So, the next time you’re planning a meal, consider adding some arugula to the mix and enjoy all the benefits that this amazing plant has to offer.

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Written By Anna Basil

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