Rocket – a bolt to seed with benefits

16 Nov

Rocket is such a silly name, don’t you think? Normally I prefer the English/European versions of vegetable names, but I love the American version in this instance – Arugula.

Arugula

It sounds so exotic!

Normally I hate it when things bolt to seed. The silverbeet at the end of its life, the parsley that doesn’t taste the same anymore, and don’t get me started on the coriander.

I enjoy rocket while it’s young and mild, but I confess that I prefer wild rocket with its milder flavour and delicate leaves.

Something I learned this year is that rocket really comes into its own when it bolts to seed. You see, the flowers are edible. Not edible in the sense that most ‘edible’ flowers are – they actually taste really lovely. They have the mild peppery quality of really really young rocket and also the true rocket flavour, packed into a small and delicate flower that also has a great texture. They are really pretty in salads.

They also keep on giving. The stalks just keep getting longer and longer, putting out more flowers until you get sick of them talking over your yard. Maybe they do die eventually, but mine are still going like Jack’s beanstalk – giving lovely salad flowers regularly.

As the flowers die off, they form seed pods (fruit) like most flowers. These dry out, and you then crack them open to save the rocket seeds.

I’ve been throwing the seeds at the ground, hoping that I’ll get another crop, but they could be saved in envelopes once they are completely dry, and labelled for next year.

Give it a go – I think you’ll enjoy rocket flowers even if you don’t like rocket.

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3 Responses to “Rocket – a bolt to seed with benefits”

  1. Liz November 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    I’ve never tried the flowers – I will definitely give them a go. I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble getting them to seed in – I planted one lot a couple of years ago and they keep popping up ever so often – even if I don’t let the most recent plants go to seed. Lovely photos – I particularly like the one of the flower.

  2. JuLes November 18, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    I’ll have to give them a go also. Good timing for the post as I have a small ‘crop’ of rocket flowering right now.

    • L November 19, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

      Ooh – pressure! Now I just hope you agree with me and don’t think I’m raving mad 🙂

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