A Springtime Treat

I love social media! Friends in the next town posted a message, with photo of a huge patch of arugula in full bloom, saying their arugula was out of control and that anyone and everyone who wanted some should come over right away.

I commented that I wanted some—and late afternoon on the very same day, I found this by my door:

Sweet!

We had to put this special treat and unexpected gift to good use right away.

Aren’t the flowers pretty? Wait til you taste them! Peppery but more delicate than arugula leaves. Sometimes you hit a sweet one, too. Mmm!

I bought a mango earlier in the week, to try this trick which worked like a charm, exactly as advertised. When you try it, watch that you don’t tear the skin as you get started, and don’t leave too much of the mango flesh attached to the peeling. Much too tasty to waste!

Green Salad with Arugula Flowers, Mango, and Avocado
             — special thanks to Scott & Mark P for blooming arugula from their garden

Serves 2, entree size

Salad ingredients:

  • 6-8 leaves of romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
  • Handful of arugula leaves
  • Arugula flowers, at least 1/3 to 1/2 cup, very loosely packed
  • 1/2 to 1 avocado, bite-sized cubes
  • 1 to 1-1/2 mangoes, diced (try that cool peeling tip, for fun)
  • 1 small Persian cucumber, unpeeled, in bite-sized strips
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted if you have time and inclination

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1 to 1- 1/2 tablespoons of your best-tasting olive oil
  • a 2-finger pinch of salt & freshly ground pepper
  • lemon juice (start with about 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons)
  • lemon zest  (I use about 5-6 light short swipes of a whole lemon on a micro planer. Don’t grate the bitter white part)
  • honey  (about 3/4 teaspoon or less to start)

Assembly:

Place dry lettuce and arugula leaves in salad bowl. Add salt now and toss to mix through.

Add everything else except lemon zest and almonds. Save them for later. 

Add olive oil sparingly and toss gently. Taste to see if you’ve got enough. 

Squeeze lemon juice over the top and toss some more. (Start with about 1/3 of the amount of olive oil you used. Taste and see if it’s lemony enough) 

Add all this, all to taste:

Salt and ground pepper

Honey — I dipped a plastic chopstick into the honey jar and drizzled most of what stuck to it over the top of the salad. Don’t overdo it!

Lemon zest and slivered almonds.

Toss gently but well and serve.

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