Dragon's Tongue Arugula
Inventory, 4 lbs : 0
Dragon’s Tongue arugula is a uniform, upright plant consisting of narrow, oak-leaf shaped leaves attached to branching, fibrous stems. The green leaves are generally harvested 5 to 15 centimeters in length and are deeply lobed with serrated edges, bearing distinct maroon veining. Dragon’s Tongue arugula has a crisp, slightly chewy consistency and a complex blend of peppery, grassy, and vegetal flavors mixed with nutty, spicy notes. It is important to note that Dragon’s Tongue arugula will have a stronger taste than common arugula varieties but does not contain bitter flavors commonly associated with the peppery greens.
Dragon’s Tongue arugula is available year-round.
Dragon’s Tongue arugula, botanically classified as Diplotaxis tenuifolia, is a variety of wild arugula developed in the 21st century in England, belonging to the Brassicaceae family. The cultivar was created from a breeding program started by Tozer Seeds in the 1990s to produce arugula varieties with an extended storage life, improved growth characteristics, and flavor. Dragon’s Tongue arugula is also known as Dragon’s Tongue rocket, Red Vein arugula, and Red Dragon arugula, and the perennial plant can grow 30 to 45 centimeters in height. The variety is favored by growers and home gardeners for its frost and heat tolerance, being slow to bolt, and its variegated coloring. Despite its unique appearance, Dragon’s Tongue arugula is not commercially grown on a large scale and is primarily found in home gardens and farmer’s markets, where the greens are selected for use in fresh applications.
Dragon’s Tongue arugula is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, and boost collagen production within the skin. The greens also contain calcium to protect bones and teeth and lower amounts of iron, vitamin K, and folic acid.
Dragon’s Tongue arugula has a peppery, grassy flavor best suited for fresh or lightly cooked applications, including sautéing or stir-frying. The dark greens can be prepared as a vegetable or used as an herb, tossed into salads, used as a topping over pizza and pasta, layered into sandwiches, or mixed into stir-fries. Dragon’s Tongue arugula can also be blended into sauces such as pesto, lightly sauteed as a bed of greens, or utilized as a garnish over soups, stews, and main dishes. Dragon’s Tongue arugula pairs well with cheeses such as goat, parmesan, and feta, nuts such as pine nuts, pecans, almonds, and walnuts, radishes, beets, tomatoes, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Whole greens should be wrapped in a paper towel, kept in a plastic bag, and stored for 2 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Dragon’s Tongue arugula was first introduced to industry leaders in 2013 at the Tozer Seed trials in Cobham, England. Tozer Seeds conducts annual seed trials worldwide in different climates to study how their plant varieties will respond to changing weather. After each new variety is trialed for an extensive period, the cultivars are introduced to industry experts on trial days to receive feedback in response to the best way to market the new cultivar. In 2013, over 300 visitors attended the trials in Cobham, England, in anticipation of new leafy greens, and the attendees consisted of growers, seed distributors, and scientists from all over the world, including Canada and the United States. Many American companies attended the trials to learn about their new kale and arugula varieties, including Dragon’s Tongue, as both items are experiencing a spike in consumer demand within American markets. During the field presentations, Dragon’s Tongue arugula was widely favored for its striking visual appearance, peppery flavor, and increased tolerance to weather fluctuations. The variety also contains pungent oils that act as natural pest control for home gardens.
Dragon’s Tongue arugula was developed by Tozer Seeds, a family-run, independent seed breeding company established in 1939. The arugula variety was created in the early 21st century as part of a Tozer Seeds initiative to create new arugulas with improved growth characteristics and flavors. Dragon’s Tongue arugula was bred from wild arugula and was first showcased in 2013 at seed trial days in England. Today Dragon’s Tongue arugula is found through online retailers in seed form for home gardening and is also grown through select farms and sold at farmer’s markets in Europe, the United States, and Australia.
Recipes that include Dragon's Tongue Arugula. One is easiest, three is harder.