The Second Garden Produce and a Salad

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?

3 thoughts on “The Second Garden Produce and a Salad

  1. Ah, what can you say about arugula? One way to tone down the bitterness of the taste would be to drizzle a fresh lemon or favorite vinegar, and add olive oil or oil of choice. Salt and pepper to taste and try in small quantities. Over time the the most finicky eaters may be suggesting arugula for dinner tonight. Arugula lightly sauteed in a stirfry also adds a delightful bite to the recipe. It’s one more green to learn to love I guess.

    • Thanks! I’ve tried sauteing arugula before, which helps a bit. Maybe a wilted arugula salad with caramelized onions, blue cheese, and bacon… We tried it on pizza the other day, which was delicious, we just didn’t want to put too much on.

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