Do you have lots of rocket in your garden? Have you run out of ideas for ways to use it? Here are my top six ways to take advantage of your abundant crop.
My garden has been overflowing with Rocket for the past couple of months. To harvest it, remove the leaves from long stems and pick fresh as required. It does not store well for more than a day. I have found that if the leaves get really large they are very bitter. I tend to remove these and add them to the compost pile to be recycled back into the garden at a later stage.
I have been using Rocket for salad side dishes a few times a week as well as giving away so each week to the lovely ladies who helped my out last Christmas by looking after my garden when we were away in Thailand. Despite this, I still have loads of it and as Spring is now upon us and I have tomatoes, capsicums, eggplants and numerous other Summer cropping goodies almost ready to go into the garden beds. I will need some space that is currently being used by the burgeoning rocket. It will also be prone to becoming strappy and going to seed (flower) as the weather warms.
I have 8 rocket plants in the garden. Why so many ??? The lettuce was slow to start and more seeds germinated than I expected. It sounds like alot to me too when I write it down! I do love Rocket though and would love to eat it every day for dinner but Mr Fresh, not so much, and not in the cooler Winter months.
Six Uses for Excess Rocket
Don’t rip it up to make room for new crops without giving these things a try. If you have put in the hard work to grow it, make sure you get to use it all.
Rocket works beautifully with avocado, pear, parmesan, walnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin, lemon juice and balsamic, add what ever you have on hand for a fabulous fresh salad. Try new combinations, you may just discover an unexpected delight.
The salad above was made with roasted pumpkin, walnuts, avocado, and freshly picked beetroot from the garden and served with a simple balsamic and olive oil dressing.
Some of our other favorites include:
Add Rocket once the pasta is cooked, prior to serving and then top with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese. It works well added to a simple pasta of garlic and prawns, or passata and prosciutto.
3. Rocket Pesto
- Rocket Pesto can be used to make a crust when frying fish
- Stir it through pasta
- Stir it through boiled potatoes prior to serving and sprinkle with fresh parmesan and pepper
- Add it to sandwiches instead of butter or margarine
- Use it as a dip on a platter served with crackers or crusty bread
- Add a scoop to savory muffins or tarts
- Use it as the base spread for pizza or these Garden Squares
4. Lemon Rocket Salt
The flavor of rocket when it has been dried is very different to when it is fresh. It threw me a little when I smelt the dried version. It is VERY grassy smelling. To be honest I did not enjoy the smell of it. After adding some dried lemon zest, the smell and flavor was beautifully balanced and a lovely accompaniment to fish, poultry, potatoes and as a flavor topping for pizza. As the oil glands of the lemon are in the skin I expected there to be very little smell from the zest after I dried it. After a week the smell is fresh and clean and I am really enjoying the combination. Give it a try.
- 50 grams fresh rocket
- 5 tablespoons Murray Valley Pink Salt
- zest of 3 lemons
- Set the oven to warm to 60 degrees
- Wash, drain and dry very well the rocket leaves - removing any straggly or large pieces of stem
- To an oven tray lined spread the rocket evenly so that the leaves are not touching
- Zest the lemons and lie the zest on the baking tray also (you may need two trays)
- Add the tray/s to the oven for approximately 15 minutes until the Rocket is dry and crumbly
- Chop the zest into small pieces with a knife once dried
- Combine the rocket, and zest in a mortar and pestle and pound until the rocket is broken up but not totally turned into a powder.
- Add the salt and mix
- Store in an airtight jar
The flavors of this salt mature as time passes and become stronger.
5. Rocket Paste
- 70 grams of Brazil nuts
- 60 grams rocket - washed and any large stems discarded
- ½ avocado
- 1 tablespoon Chardonnay Vinegar
- 3 tablespoons good quality Olive Oil
- Add ingredients to a food processor and pulse until a smooth paste is formed
- Serve as you wish.
6. Swap a Smile
Give your rocket to your neighbor, swap it for something they are growing, or give it away to friends. I love the excitement that friends get from being given some of our fresh home grown vegetables. They love it and it makes me happy to share rather than waste it.
Do you have any other ways that you can share for using up rocket? Please share them in the comments below.