Manor Farm Herbs
Manor Farm
Oxfordshire OX27 8DP

Wild or Perennial Rocket

Diplotaxis tenuifolia

60cm plus (2ft)
Suitable for:
Rich moist soil in a sunny spot.
Wild or Perennial Rocket: Diplotaxis tenuifolia

Wild or perennial rocket is gaining in popularity, especially with our hotter drier summers that cause annual salad rocket to bolt and go to seed. It has a narrower leaf than the annual variety and a pungent peppery flavour that is sharp and clean, unlike salad rocket, which can become bitter with age and in hot weather.

Traditionally it is used as a salad herb in France and Italy, popular in mesclun, a salad of tiny leaves originating from the area around Nice. At its simplest it is best served tossed with a squeeze of lemon juice, a grating of fresh parmesan cheese and a scattering of pine nuts.

Rocket and Melon Salad

  • 2 handfuls of wild rocket
  • 1 tbs flaked almonds
  • 1 ripe melon of choice
  • 100 ml greek yoghurt or crème fraiche
  • 2 thin skinned oranges
  • salt and black pepper

Wash the rocket if necessary and dry well. Cut the melon into cubes or use a melon baller. Peel the oranges and slice them thinly on a plate. Toast the almonds in a moderate oven until gold.

Season the yoghurt if desired.

Arrange the rocket around the edge of a pretty serving dish and pile the melon and orange slices in the middle. Pour over the crème fraiche / yoghurt and decorate with the almonds.

In addition to salads rocket is increasingly used in stirfrys and pasta dishes and also as a pizza topping after baking.