Sunday, April 1, 2007

Bolting Arugula & Tat Soi: A Crazy Salad

Sometimes the garden doesn't give you much choice for dinner. There are some things that just have to be eaten now.

So it is with the greens that overwintered from last fall's plantings. The tat soi and the arugula are both flowering, getting ready to seed. These bolting plants need to be cut and eaten before the seed-setting process turns them bitter.

I don't mind being pressed into a crazy, bolting salad. In fact, I love the sharp, peppery flavor of the arugula. The tat soi is much milder, like broccoli. Just cut the plants at the base and strip the leaves off the stems. Keep the flowers and buds: they look great in a salad and they're all edible.

You could mix these with other salad greens, slice some mushrooms, maybe some hothouse cherry tomatoes, red onion. I like to add sectioned oranges for a bit of sweetness and visual interest and shaved Parmesan cheese for depth and that wonderful parmesan mouth feel.

You can dress the salad with your favorite vinaigrette. For me, a squeeze of lemon juice, some quality extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, is perfectly sufficient.

Simple. Delicious. Fresh.

And right from the garden.

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