I Got Rocket in My CSA (Week 7)

May 30, 2012 at 10:45 am

photo (22)

The weekly Tomato Mountain CSA* box arrived Monday night.  I’m done, for now at least, trying to photograph the contents of each box.  I went from trying to capture inside the box, to laying it all out.  By week five, my ambitions lessened to the box’s components, and last week, I was down to showing a few leaves.  I like my weekly box a lot.  It’s just how many times can I photograph the same things.  This week, as shown above, I’m only picturing what’s new.


Yes, say rocket.  This week’s addition to CSA life is also this years chance to berate people over the nominclature of everyone’s favorite peppery green.  Those who know me nearest, the three other members of the Local Family, know that the “let’s call it rocket” has been a campaign of mine for a while. In fact, much to their chagrin, I made it my New Year’s resolution a few years back–something in tpycal style for me, took me until March to post about on the Beet.

Rocket tends to need defending.  Most times, commentators slash back at its association as the effete veg.  That if Barack Obama filled his re-usuable market bag with bunches of rocket, it showed his disconnect from the lives of ordinary Americans.  David Schiller blogs:

What’s the deal with arugula? How did this fairly inexpensive, ethnic salad green, this Mediterranean weed, join sushi, lattes, and the Prius as signifiers of a certain kind of elite?

He cannot quite find the answer, but he has the solution. Call it rocket.

It’s rocket. It’s rocket as I’ve argued before, becuase that’s what it’s called. Arugula is bad translation. It’s not even the name in Italian. Rather, it is the literal spelling of it’s pronunciation from Southern Italian dialect. It’s the same dialect that makes “gab-a-gool” for cappicola (or copa), an example, which my kids having never watched much Soprano’s fail to get each time I use it.

As I summed it up last time:

There is much to pride in rocket. It’s got flavor. It also serves as a good foil to many dishes. The River Cafe gals, Rogers and Gray use rocket in about all their antipasti. It also makes an excellent pesto (and in fact can be cooked like other assertive greens), The most limiting factor, in fact, I believe, is the nonsense name, arugula. Rocket is not only correct, it is awe-inspiring. Rocket means men on the moon and blowing things up. Concepts that made America great. With your help, we will become the United States of Rocket.

photo (23)

Let’s get back to Tomato Mountain CSA Week 7. It contained all the usual green: spinach, kale, chard (a green vegetable regardless of the color of the stems), a green so green it’s very name is green, “vitamin green” (an Asian bok-choy-ish vegetable), the really excellent TM lettuce, and rocket. Even though I like my rocket best with a squeeze of lemon and several shavings of good local Parmesan style cheese, my wife wanted to have it cooked. I’ll post her recipe soon, but note, for now, that it went in pasta with crushed almonds. Where she finds these recipes I don’t know. OK, I know, from her 1 zillion cook books, but where she find this particular recipe for rocket, I don’t know.

Anyways, I don’t really care how the dish tastes. I’m just happy to have the opportunity to tell you to say rocket.

*My wife works for Tomato Mountain.


One Comment

  1. Butter&Yolk says:

    Hello! We just started a CSA pickup with Newleaf…Found you guys when doing a search for a CSA in Chicago. We love rocket! Keep up the great work!

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