Six Uses for Excess Rocket
September 12, 2013
Have you run out of ideas to use all of the Rocket in your garden before it goes to flower as the weather heats up? Rocket is also known as Arugula.
Here are 6 ways to use your excess Rocket below, plus another 6 that are even better than the first ones listed. Overall, plenty of recipe inspiration to help inspire ideas to avoid wasting the bounty of rocket in the garden. Use it raw or very briefly cooked and enjoy the peppery flavour.
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 the family, not so much, and not in the cooler Winter months.
Beware that Rocket is prone to attack from White Cabbage Moth so be sure to water well as the weather heats and cover with a net if the cabbage moth is a menace in your region.
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.
A salad that includes roasted pumpkin, walnuts, avocado, and freshly picked beetroot from the garden and served with a simple balsamic and olive oil dressing is a gorgeous way to end the day, refuel and refresh.
Some of our other favorite salads made with Rocket 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.
I made this pest to accompany the Chicken soup recipe that won me a trip to Italy and cooking school on the Amalfi Coast.
Find my Rocket Pesto Recipe here.
My Rocket paste recipe is below:
Use as a spread, a dip or a condiment
Add ingredients to a food processor and pulse until a smooth paste is formed
Serve as a spread, dip or to baste fish or chicken prior to cooking. It also works well spread on sweet potato or potato wedges prior to baking.
Try this Rocket recipe idea for something a little different.
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.
Make your own flavored salt using excess rocket and lemons. Use with fish or poultry. Also great as a flavoring for pizza.
Make your own flavored salt using excess rocket and lemons. Use with fish or poultry. Also great as a flavoring for pizza
Set the oven to warm to 60 degrees
Wash, drain and dry the rocket leaves well - 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
Rocket is best eaten fresh, not heated. Stir it through at the end of the meal preparation, or add it as a side to any dish you would like to. If you have so much Rocket that you truly are unable to use it all, add a big washed pile to a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until the bulk is reduced. Add to an ice cube tray and freeze. At a later date these cubes can be added to stir through pasta at the end of cooking, added to a quiche or tart, or bake – easy!
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.
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