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Armloads of Arugula

So now it’s arugula that’s overflowing. It’s especially important for my arugula to be used immediately, because it is already going to seed. Going to seed?…I hear you cry.

Going to seed is the term used when a plant is getting ready to produce flowers and eventually seeds. It’s a most often used in reference to greens or plants where you are only harvesting the leaves, roots (beets, carrots), or flowers (broccoli). Other plants, like tomatoes, you want to go to seed because that means they are getting ready to produce the vegetable you harvest.

The first sign of a plant going to seed is the plant will suddenly start getting tall very quickly. Then flowers will start to form and eventually seeds will be produced.

Spinach Going to Seed

Spinach Going to Seed

When a plant starts to go to seed the leaves get more bitter, the better to discourage anyone from eating them. If you like bitter, and some of us do, then this is good, but for most people less bitter is better, so try to pick your greens before going to seed or in the early stages.

So anyway, below is one of my favorite ways to use up my arugula or other spring greens.

Spring Citrus Duck Salad

Spring Citrus Duck Salad

Spring Citrus Duck Salad

4 duck breast halves, roasted or grilled, sliced or shredded
1 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon or 2 limes
½ cup Citrus Dressing
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
16 oz arugula or other spring greens

Use any other additional spring vegetables you may be harvesting such as beets, broccoli, scallions, onion tops or garlic scapes.

1. Steam the peas for 3-4 minutes, peas should still be crisp. Cool peas to room temperature by running under cold water. Drain well.

2. Place duck and all vegetables (except parsley) in a bowl and toss. Add salt & pepper, dressing, zest and parsley and toss well.

Serves 6

Citrus Dressing
¼ cup lime or lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons mustard
1 tsp honey
1 large clove garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients and whisk until thickened.

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