The cultivated rocket sprouts are an important source of ascorbic acid and folic acid as they are inexhaustible. They lend themselves to being planted in any type of soil, from fertile to sandy ones and can give life to two types of rocket:
- the Diplotaxis tenuifolia, or the wild species;
- Eruca sativa, that is the type used both in the culinary and herbal-medical fields.
The difference, precisely, lies in the shape of the leaves. The origins of these sprouts, in particular, are very ancient. Already existing in Roman times, rocket sprouts are still grown throughout Europe today. The flavor of the plant that comes from them also strictly depends on the period in which you are: in fact, the more arid the soil is, the more decisive and intense the taste is. In addition, the cultivated rocket sprouts can also give life to flowers characterized by four white or purplish petals in the period from February to June. Furthermore, it is possible to find an unknown number of seeds in the fruits. In any case, sowing takes place in spring to continue in the colder months.
The cultivated rocket sprouts are characterized by an excellent flavor which makes them suitable to be combined with many foods. First of all, it is necessary to specify how these sprout naturally when they are in a humid environment and in contact with water, containing very important nutrients within them. Among the main nutritional elements it is possible to mention:
- folic acid
- ascorbic acid
- vitamin K
- beta carotene
- sulforaphane (typical cruciferous isocyanate
CULTIVATED ROCKET SPROUTS: THE USES IN THE KITCHEN
Just like the leaves of the related plant, the sprouts of cultivated rocket have a spicy and pungent aroma. Thanks to the flavor that characterizes them, therefore, they can be used as a side dish or in mixed salads. However, they can also be eaten steamed or stuffed into ravioli or savory pies. Finally, the cultivated rocket sprouts are also excellent when placed in savory crepes, cold rice and wraps
The cultivated rocket sprouts are characterized by their very small size. Distinguished by a dark brown colour, they produce gelatinous mucilage once immersed in water. After about 5 days, they will then begin to produce the first dark green leaves: this is the moment of harvesting. It is advisable to grow them in a bright environment to increase the production of chlorophyll and, therefore, fiber.