|flower of rocket|
It is native to the Mediterranean area and Central Europe and is naturalized in the US. The name ‘eruca’ is Latin for cabbage and it is related to the Brassica family.
The Romans used rocket mixed with other herbs they considered had aphrodisiacal qualities, such as lavender and dill, and put them in special sauces. They served the leaves as a salad with chicory and lettuce. It was believed that rocket increased sexual potency. The ancient Egyptians would give it to bridegrooms on their wedding night. The seeds and their oil have been used as an aphrodisiac at least since the first century AD.
Rocket is a great source of iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, beta-carotene, sodium, dietary fibre and vitamins A, B, C and E. Modern medical research has shown that the constituents of Eruca sativa can cure gastric ulcers, and this is one of the many complaints it has been treating for millennia in the subcontinent. It is also known to reduce the secretion of stomach acids and it also mediates the activity of hormones. The volatile oil distilled from the seeds contains nitrogen and sulphur. It has anti microbial properties and is an antiscorbutic. A strong dose of the oil will induce vomiting.
The flower is white or purple, and is a symbol of deceit in the Language of Flowers because it has no scent by day, but at night gives off a perfume. The ancients called it the Vesper flower or Hesperis.
ROCKET SALAD WITH PARMESAN CHEESE
300 gr tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 cucumber, roughly chopped
green and black olives, or stuffed green olives with pimento
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients together and toss well before serving
This has Taste and is a Treat.