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Aliens in the salad

One of my favourite salad leaves is rocket (rucola). I think I probably buy a large bag every week or so as I love the pepperiness of the leaves. I don't always buy from the same place, sometimes from the supermarket, sometimes from a greengrocer.

 

Over the last couple of months, I have found some alien leaves in my rocket. Never with any other salad leaf, just with rocket.

 

I've found them in at least five or six different bags, bought from different places on different dates. But the alien leaf is always the same, a medium, round mid-green leaf, slightly hairy. There are usually three or four separate leaves attached to the same stem. On one occasion, I had so many of them in the bag there were more of them than were of the rocket leaves.

 

I don't have a very good camera, but for what it's worth, here's the best picture I could take of it.

 

Alien!

 

I am interested to know what this plant is and whether it is poisonous. (More greedily, I suppose I should also like to know if it is edible and whether it tastes good.) Now, I always carefully pick over and wash my salad leaves anyway, as there is little worse than getting a mouthful of grit or a slimy leaf. So this is not too much of a problem. But it would be nice to know if I should be extra careful in future when preparing rocket.

 

I googled and found no obvious results. Anyone with a better knowledge of botany, or rocket-growing able to enlighten me?

 

Posted by Caroline on 24 August 2010 | 0 Comments

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