I planted my first lettuce seeds 60 days ago, and today I had my first significant harvest – a full gallon of arugula, mizuna and tatsoi. The smaller, earlier cuttings made for lovely garnishes on pizzas and flatbreads.
Some of the plants have already started to bolt. Temperatures have soared into the 80’s for the last week or so, and the plants are not happy. They’ve developed thick stalks and have begun the process of going to seed. While I love this unseasonably warm spring, the lettuce production will taper quickly. On the bright side, the leaves are spicier than usual.
Arugula does not need much flavor enhancement, just a simple dressing of olive oil and garlic. With a garnish of baby artichokes and fava beans, this is a quintessentially spring salad.
1 bunch arugula, trimmed and washed
6 slices prosciutto
6 tbs. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
4 tbs. shaved Parmesan cheese
1 tbs. lemon juice
Fava beans, blanched
salt and pepper to taste
Clean artichokes: Trim the stem by ½ inch. Cut away the tough outer green skin. Trim away tough out leaves, until left with the white hearts. If using large artichokes, cut in half, and cut out fuzzy choke.
Slice the hearts as thin as possible.
Heat 2 tbs. olive oil in a pan. Add the artichokes, season with salt and pepper and stir fry for a few minutes until they start to brown. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for 2 minutes more, or until the garlic is lightly browned. Add lemon juice.
Toss the artichokes with the arugula. Sprinkle with prosciutto, favas and Parmesan.