Bachelor Button and Arugula Reports!

Bachelor Button or Bachelor’s Button (Centauria cynaus) is an edible flower that is a colorful addition to any salad.  According to specialtyproduce.com, the beautiful flower is usually a bright blue-purple, but can also be found in white, red, and pink.  They are pretty to have in a garden, but they also have a peppery, clove-like flavor that works perfectly in fresh salads.  It can be sweet to spicy.

From Google Images

Bachelor Button is an elegant addition to any cold or hot soup. (Note: Remove pistils and stamens from flowers before eating. Eat only the petals.) It looks beautiful on salad and can even work in desserts.  It can be used as a garnish on any plate, and your guests will be surprised to learn it is completely edible and delicious.

Bachelor Button is native to Europe and was brought to the United States in the 1600s.  It is an easy flower to grow, as it can thrive in almost any living condition.  Soil quality is not an issue, and the flower does not need any specific light requirement (sun/part sun/shade).  They can grow up to three feet tall.

This annual is a favorite in traditional English gardens.  “Making a statement of availability, this long-lasting durable flower was at one time put in the lapels of single men and worn by single women, and most likely the reason for its name.”

Arugula

We have a several Arugula plants in the garden.  They are in the pots and in the planters.  They are already producing heavily!  Beware: Arugula is delicious, but it has a very strong flavor!

Arugula is an aromatic salad green.  It is also called rocket, roquette, rugula, and rucola.  It is very popular in Italian cuisine.  It is very low in calories and high in vitamins A and C.  According to gourmetsleuth.com, Arugula was grown in Roman times for the tasty leaves and fragrant seeds.  The seeds were used to flavor oils.  Arugula seed has also been used as an ingredient in aphrodisiac concoctions dating to the first century AD.

In order to grow arugula at home, plant seeds in (or transplant to) a sunny area.  The leafy green does best in spring and early summer, but it will continue to produce throughout the summer (keep it watered!).  In very hot or dry conditions, the leaves will not grow so large and they will be more peppery.  Arugula does go to seed pretty quickly, producing small white flowers.  The flowers can be picked and used as a garnish in any salad.

Favorite Arugula Recipe! I’ve had this salad many times and it is absolutely delicious.  The dressing especially is tasty and very easy to make.

Try this recipe!  Happy Gardening!

-Adrienne

The recipe comes from Cooking Light May 2009.

Arugula and Pear Salad with Toasted Walnuts

From CookingLight.com (May 2009)

Yield:  4 servings

1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups baby arugula leaves
2 Bosc pears, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add arugula and pears to bowl; toss to coat. Place about 1 1/2 cups salad on each of 4 plates; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon walnuts.

CALORIES 168 ; FAT 12.5g (sat 1.5g,mono 5.7g,poly 4.6g); CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 106mg; CARBOHYDRATE 15.1g; SODIUM 164mg; PROTEIN 2.5g; FIBER 3g; IRON 0.7mg
Cooking Light, MAY 2009

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