Photo by: Lord-Williams
The plant has eight stems. Some grow to two feet in height. Rocket is cylindrical and covered with rough hairs. The leaves are long and divided length wise into various segments. The flowers are in the form of a cross with four white pedals having black stripes. Small cylindrical sheaths contain tiny round yellow seeds. The plant contains jamba oil, used initially for making pickles. After six months the oil loses its acrid taste and then is used in cooking. It is also used as a lubricant and for burning.
Rocket is a diuretic used to relieve stomach upsets; rubbed on skin causes local reddening. Like mustard, rocket was thought to be hot and excited one to perform lechery.
Young leaves, having a sharp hot taste, were eaten in salads and used to season stews. The salads were well liked in the 15th C. Sent Soví calls for a sweet and sour rocket sauce for cold marinated lamb served in the summer and for roast beef or pork. The sauce consists of boiling rocket in water, honey and vinegar. Nola gives the same recipe adding saffron and ginger in one recipe and wine and saffron in another. See panecillo.
[Anón/Grewe. 1982:XXXXI:84-85:CLXIII:177-178:CLXIIII:178-179 etc; Font. Plantas. 1999: 157:257; Nola. 1989:xlix-5:xlix-6; Villena/Calero. 2002:23a; and Villena/Navarro. 1879:272]
ROCKET SAUCE ADAPTED FROM GREW’S EDITION OF ANÓN SENT SOVÍ #CLXIII QUI PARLA CON SE FFA HORUGUA, pp 177-178
¼ c + vinegar to taste
½ tsp saffron
1 tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp white pepper
2 tbsp fruit syrup or sugar (optional)
Wash rocket. Grind it in a food processor. Add enough vinegar to make a paste. Scald with boiling water. Remove excess water. Grind it again a food processor until very fine.
Mash saffron and dilute with water used to scald rocket. Scrap ginger. Grind cloves and cinnamon. Add them with pepper to the sauce. Add vinegar to taste. Add fruit syrup or sugar for those with a delicate constitution or to make a sweet and sour flavor. Bring to a boil and serve.
Serve with roast chicken, pork, beef, veal or salted fish.
 The original recipe calls for scalding it nine times, which seems exaggerated.
SENT SOVÍ #CLXIII QUI PARLA CON SE FFA HORUGUA, pp 177-178