Arugula offers its distinct peppery flavor with nuances of nuts and mustard at any size. Leaves allowed to mature too long on the arugula plant will become bitter in taste. The pungent flavor of arugula is due to its high content of sulfur containing compounds known as glucosinolates.
In the culinary world arugula is used as an herb, a salad green and even a leaf vegetable, making it a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. It can be used both raw and cooked, though cooking will give the leaves a milder flavor. Add to raw pesto and sauces to showcase its pungency. Use as a leafy bed for grilled seafood. Chop and sprinkle atop pizza and pasta just before serving. Combine with other greens to spice up a salad. Add whole leaves to grilled cheese sandwiches or a BLT. Use in lieu of spinach in omelets and quiche. In the Gulf of Naples on the island of Ischia arugula is made into a liqueur known as Rucolino. The sharp flavor of arugula pairs well with citrus, roasted beets, pears, pine nuts, olives, tomato and robust cheeses such as goat, blue and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Baby sized are the youngest tender first cuts of the harvest providing a more delicate spice. Teen sized is slightly bigger in size and bolder in flavor. Adult sized may be cut from regrowth and has spent some time developing it's full bodied punch of spicy goodness.