Ack. I turned an old bookshelf into a bunny frame (it keeps out the rabbits, as we don’t seem to have a problem with the cold here in sunny CA) and one of the four things I planted is doing well, along with one thing I didn’t plant: arugula. The bok chard sort of exploded in my absence, and while I may have pulled out at least ten plants, the bunny frame is still crowded. I’m still not sure how the arugula is part of this, except Karina planted a couple arugula plants there that promptly died from neglect months before the bunny frame business. Who knew arugula was the cockroach of the garden world? No, seriously. Because I haven’t seen a single plant go to seed and yet I can’t for the life of me imagine how the arugula is just popping up everywhere! Perhaps this would be less troublesome if I were more of an arugula fan. Peter detests bitter greens, so it’s just me against an entire vegetable drawer of peppery, rebellious salad stuff. Let’s just say that the salad I made for dinner had nothing to do with it; perhaps if the arugula hadn’t overtaken all my rouge d’hiver lettuce this would be a different story.
On the up-side, of the dozen flower seeds I planted in the spring, three flower plants have survived: one lonely red zinnia, one red nasturtium, and one whitish-yellow nasturtium, both with speckled leaves. I’d never celebrated the determination of a single plant so much (that zinnia is just so darn cute), especially since the flowers didn’t get a cherished place in the bunny frame.
The salad was quite delicious, despite its lack of arugula. It had cucumber, tomato, chives, crumbled queso fresco (like a soft version of feta), and of course nasturtiums. If you’ve never eaten nasturtiums before, give it a try. The petals are kind of tasteless, but pretty, and the central part of the flower packs a peppery punch. I’ve been on a leafless salad binge lately. Fresh corn is my favorite leafless salad base, but that means it’s always the first to go, and at some point in the week I have to get creative and try something else. The next salad will definitely have arugula, but what to do after that? Karina suggested arugula on pizza, which I know is very good with cheese and prosciutto at Olio Pizzeria. Any other suggestions?