This peppery leaved member of the brassica family is one any gardener should not do without. Its nutty flavour and adds interest to what would be a bland salad and is often a component of the mixture of greens known as mesclun.
It can also be cooked as a vegetable or used with pasta and meats All of its above ground parts, leaves, flowers, seeds and seed pods can be eaten. It was known in Roman times and was collected in the wild until recently.
Rocket in flower
Rocket is an annual and its great advantage is that it can be grown in cool weather, sharing with its relatives, a low germination temperature, high rate of success with the added advantage of few pests and diseases. It is reasonably frost tolerant. In winter, it is excellent under cover, in a greenhouse, cold frame or under cloches and can be repeatedly cut. Broadcast and rake in or sow in rows. Seedlings can be eaten after a few weeks. In the growing season outdoors, plants flower and seed quickly in succession, so there is often little need to replant.