The truth is, we almost always have more food growing in the garden than we can possibly eat at any one time. This is especially true as the temperatures grow warmer. All at once, our pretty little greens--the mustards and Chinese greens especially that we planted back in March--start to grow very tall and begin blooming.
Greens going to seed make a nice display, but it's a bit frustrating because we know the leaves that we had planned on eating will soon be inedible. The trick, I think, is finding a way to preserve the greens, so this year I've been spending my free moments sitting in the garden plucking tat soi plants and mustard green plants individually out of the ground and stripping them of their leaves and preparing them for freezing.
I don't mind this job at all. You sit on your butt and pull slender plants out of the soil and think about nothing in particular. It's another of those meditative acts in the garden that takes you away from your troubles, like composting or counting the holes in ceiling tiles.
The process is fairly simple. Once you've collected a heap of greens, put a pot of water on the stove to boil. Clean the greens thoroughly in the sink, then blanch them for two minutes in boiling water. Remove the greens from the pot and chill them in cold water. Let them sit in a colander a while to drain completely. Now you can pack the blanched greens in freezer bags and store them in the freezer for use later.
I envision these greens being braised at some point with onions and a little vinegar, maybe even some bacon. They could also be used as an ingredient in an egg dish, such as frittata, or in a soup or stew.
The best part about being able to store these greens is relieving some of the guilt I always feel over planting too many.