For people who care about their food

Rocket Salad

Rocket salad with tomatoes, Parmesan cheese shavings and walnuts on a white plate

Even though a salad is often very simple to make, it can also be very tasty. I had some rocket in the house and decided to turn it into a quick and easy salad.

As long as you make a tasty dressing this salad makes a lovely starter or side dish. You could serve it with some crusty bread drizzled with olive oil for a healthy snack.

Ingredients

(per person)

  • A couple of handfuls of rocket leaves
  • 1 or 2 tomatoes (depending on the size of the tomatoes and your preference)
  • A small handful of walnuts, roughly chopped (I would normally use pine nuts for this type of salad but decided to try walnuts for a change)
  • Dressing – it’s very important to have a tasty dressing, whether it’s home-made or shop-bought. You can read how I make a simple but tasty vinaigrette here
  • Parmesan cheese – for garnish

Method

It couldn’t get much simpler. Put the rocket leaves and slices or dices of tomato into a bowl and toss well in whatever dressing you’re using. Put on a plate, sprinkle on the nuts and garnish with shavings of Parmesan cheese. I use a vegetable peeler to make the shavings.

4 Responses to “Rocket Salad”

  1. frank joyce

    which is best salad rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) or wild rocket (Eruca sativa)?
    Many thanks, Regards, Frank.

  2. Not Delia

    Hi Frank

    You certainly know your botanical names! I had to look these terms up on Wiki.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplotaxis_tenuifolia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eruca_sativa

    It’s a great question, but very difficult to answer for two main reasons.

    1. “Best” is very subjective and depends on personal taste and preference.

    2. Herbs and baby leaf salad are often marketed under different names in different countries.

    As a general guide, though, my preference is for what’s normally marketed as “wild rocket” which, confusingly, looks rather like the picture of Eruca sativa on Wiki.

    Let’s leave the theory behind and try to tackle this from a more practical perspective. Rocket marketed as “wild rocket” usually has a much stronger, peppery taste. Of course, if you buy it in a shop chances are it’s not wild at all but has been cultivated.

    Rocket marketed just as “rocket” is much blander with a taste more like baby spinach leaves. The rocket in my photo above shows this type, as “wild rocket” isn’t always readily available where I live. Given the choice, I would definitely have preferred to use “wild rocket”.

    Hope this helps.

    Not Delia

  3. Mr Not Delia

    All these rockets are confusing the hell out of me!

    The sort that we usually see in our local supermarket packaged as “rocket” looks like something else again, with wider, flatter and rounder leaves – more like baby spinach than rocket. In fact, of the two photos ND’s mentioned, I’d say it looks most like the top leaves of Eruca sativa.

    The photo of Diplotaxis tenuifolia isn’t great, but I’d say it’s more like what’s called wild rocket in our local supermarket – the peppery stuff that ND (and I) really like.

    Here’s another link:
    Schede di botanica: diplotaxis tenuifolia – the ninth photo down is the best illustration of the stuff we like.

  4. Not Delia

    Now see what you’ve started, Frank. 🙂

    In its simplest terms, the jaggier the leaf, the tastier the rocket.

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